To serve as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery is considered one of the greatest honors in the military.

It's a volunteer position that accepts fewer than 20 percent of all applicants, and of those only a small percentage go on to become actual Tomb Guards. The high attrition rate makes it the second least awarded US military decoration after the Army Astronaut Badge.

This is not the first time guards have experienced a hurricane. In 2003, for the first time in American history, the sentinels, as the post marchers are called, were given the choice to seek shelter away from Hurricane Isabel. They did not. The choice was given them again in 2011, when Irene stormed ashore. And again, they did not leave their post.

Today, the sentinels face Hurricane Sandy. The winds may reach 120 mph, and the sentinels have the option to take refuge in a safe house, the "trophy room," which overlooks the tombs.

Our guess is that they'll remain on post throughout.

This photo was posted to the First Army's Division East Facebook page today and is captioned:

Soldiers of the 3rd Inf Reg. continue to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, despite the worsening weather conditions surrounding Hurricane Sandy. The tomb has been guarded continuously since 1948.
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