A military police officer from California took her place in Army history Friday as the first woman to guard the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Guarding the tomb is an honor bestowed upon the best of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, the Army’s oldest and one of its most elite units.
Sgt. Heather Johnsen joined the Army in August 1992 and was a personnel administrative assistant before coming on active duty. She has served in Korea and at Fort Monmouth, N.J. After receiving the prestigious tomb guard badge, Johnsen began a 24-hour shift with other volunteer guards who walk back and forth in a regimented pattern and have an intricate changing of the guard ceremony.