3rd Infantry Regiment activates – April 6, 1948

On April 6, 1948, the 3d Infantry Regiment was re-activated on the Capitol Plaza in Washington, DC. What came to be known as the “Cold War” created a need for greater protection of the capital, national leaders, and public property. It was decided that The Old Guard, as the oldest active Infantry regiment, would be the ideal choice.

The flag used in the ceremony, which flew over the US Capitol at the time of Pearl Harbor, was later raised over the three defeated Axis capitals of Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo and then returned to the United States for use in appropriate ceremonies.

The mission to protect the capital had been performed by Military Policemen of the 703d and the 712th MP Battalions since the end of the World War II. The men of the 703rd were transferred to the 1st Battalion, 3d Infantry, and those in the 712th became the 2d Battalion, 3d Infantry, with a large number of recruit trainees from Fort Dix, New Jersey added to both battalions. The 1st Battalion was garrisoned at Fort Myer, VA and the 2d Battalion was garrisoned at newly-renamed Fort Lesley J. McNair, DC.

The Military District of Washington’s ceremonial mission had been performed since 1943 by the MDW Ceremonial Detachment. The Ceremonial Detachment first became Ceremonial Company, 1st Battalion, 3d Infantry Regiment. About a year later, Ceremonial Company became Company A of The Old Guard.

Commander-in-Chief’s Guard – December 1, 1973

March 11, 1776
“The General is desirous of selecting a particular number of men as a guard for himself and his baggage…”

George Washington

With this order, General George Washington, Commander of the Continental Army, established his Commander-in-Chief’s Guard. To honor this unit, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) created a replica unit from Company A, 1st Battalion (Reinf) in 1973. Trained, uniformed and equipped like the 18th-Century unit, the present day Commander-in-Chief’s Guard made its first appearance at the 1973 Army-Navy football game on December 1st at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, PA. Unfortunately, Army lost that game by a score of 51 to 0.

View the CINC Guard Bicentennial leaflet here: