Sgt. 1st Class Chelsea Porterfield made history in the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
VA honors the unidentified brave service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. This Veterans Day, we honor the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We will not forget the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice but were never identified or returned.
The Old Guard is a combat unit. Before 2015, women were not permitted to serve in most combat roles. In the early 1980s, women were allowed to join The Old Guard for ceremonial purposes, such as serving in the Fife and Drum Corps.
When all military occupational specialties were opened to women in 2015, more women earned the badge. Sgt. Ruth Hanks earned her badge in 2015, and Sgt. 1st Class Chelsea Porterfield earned hers in 2021. Porterfield was also the first woman sergeant of the guard.
On Sept. 29, 2021, Porterfield made history again. She completed her final walk at the Tomb and conducted a changing of the guard ceremony in the first all-women shift change in 84 years, on the 30,770th day of continuous guarding.
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