The men who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are among the sharpest looking soldiers in the armed forces. As a veteran, I still look in awe over how squared away those guys are.
In this country, we treat our war dead with a great deal of care. I don’t know if other countries do similar, but we do.
Not only that, but we remember and honor those whose identities we have lost for whatever reason.
But the troops who guard the Tomb can’t get away with just any old sidearm. The polymer M17 may be great for combat troops, but for those guarding the Tomb, it would just look off.
Luckily, Sig took care of that.
Newington, N.H. (October 3, 2018) – SIG SAUER, Inc. is honored to announce the production and presentation of the M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols for the U.S. Army’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) for the Tomb Guard Sentinels.
The M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols are unique M17 pistols that were created using the same specifications for the U.S. Army’s M17 Modular Handgun System. The ceremonial pistols are 9mm striker-fired pistols with a non-railed aluminum grip module, stainless steel slide, wood grip inserts, a 21-round magazine, and features the same optic cut as specified by the MHS contract, front night sight, removable rear plate, and black controls. The pistols also feature a high polish to withstand the inclement weather while the Tomb Sentinels stand guard.
The unique distinguishing features for the M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols include:
• Pistol Names: each of the four pistols bears the name of Silence, Respect, Dignity, or Perseverance and is featured on the dust cover. Dignity and Perseverance represent “The Sentinel’s Creed,” and Silence and Respect represent the request to the public by Arlington National Cemetery when visiting the Tomb of the Unknown, and during the Changing of the Guard;
• Custom Wood Grips: in 1921 the chosen Unknown was transported to the United States of America aboard the USS Olympia. The custom wood grips are made with wood from the USS Olympia and include the crest of the 3rd Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier identification badge inset;
• Cocking Serrations: XXI cocking serrations are engraved on the slide to signify the twenty-one steps it takes for the Tomb Sentinels to walk by the Tomb of the Unknowns and the military honor of a 21 Gun Salute;
• Sight Plate: an engraved impression of the Greek Figures featured on the east panel of the Tomb – Peace, Victory, and Valor – are featured on the sight plate;
• Sights: a glass insert made with marble dust from the Tomb of the Unknown fills the sights of the ceremonial pistols;
• Engraved Magazines: the 21-round magazines feature an aluminum base plate engraved with the names of the Greek figures featured on the Tomb of the Unknown – Peace, Victory, and Valor – and include a name plate on the bottom of the magazine engraved with the Tomb Sentinel badge number.
• Serial Numbers: the pistols are serialized with a unique set of serial numbers that incorporate items of significance to the Old Guard: “LS” represents line six of the Sentinels’ Creed, “My standard will remain perfection; “02JUL37” to signify the first 24-hour guard posted at the Tomb of the Unknown on July 3, 1937; “21” to signify the 21 steps it takes the Tomb Sentinels to walk by the Tomb of the Unknown, and the military honor of a 21 Gun Salute. The full series of M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols serial numbers are LS02JUL37A21 (Silence), LS02JUL37B21 (Respect), LS02JUL37C21 (Dignity), LS02JUL37D21 (Perseverance).
The M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols will be presented to the Old Guard in an official ceremony on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at the Arlington National Cemetery Chapel. The ceremony will begin at 9:00am and include a private presentation ceremony, followed by a Changing of the Guard in which the 3rd Guard soldiers will return to duty with their M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols. The presentation ceremony will conclude at 10:15am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Silence, one of the four ceremonial pistols to be presented to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Guard will be on display in the SIG SAUER Booth (#3425) at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting, October 8th – 10th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Honestly, this makes me happy.
I’ve had plenty of reason to beat up on SIG over the last year. The company has had some problems. However, it also has a history of making quality firearms that warrant it getting a bit of slack. SIG now seems to have its stuff in order, and now it’s making moves like this.
If this doesn’t make you smile just a bit, I’m pretty sure you’re someone I’d rather not know.