What Sunglasses Do the Tomb Guards Wear? Discover Guardian Glory [2023]

Have you ever wondered, amidst the hushed reverence of Arlington National Cemetery, what sunglasses do the Tomb Guards wear? These silent sentinels, standing unwaveringly at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, don more than just immaculate uniforms; they wear a legacy of honor.

The answer lies in the authorized sunglasses they proudly sport, a symbol of their commitment and respect. With each step they take, and each salute they render, these eyepieces echo a story of dedication. Join us as we unveil the shades that shield their gaze and tell a tale of unwritten vows.

What Sunglasses Do the Tomb Guards Wear?

The Tomb Guards who stand vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery are known for their iconic, immaculately pressed uniforms and precision marching. But they also wear distinctive sunglasses as part of their uniform. So what exact eyewear models do these dedicated sentinels use?

Authorized Sunglasses for the Tomb Guards

The Tomb Guards are required to wear either of these two specific sunglass models as part of their uniform:

1.    Randolph Engineering Concorde

2.    Randolph Engineering Aviator

These two Randolph designs have been formally authorized for use by the Tomb Guards based on meeting the needs of their duty. The sunglasses are made in the USA to rigid military specifications.

Key Features and Benefits of Randolph Engineering sunglasses

The Randolph Engineering sunglasses worn by the Tomb Guards have a number of key attributes:

  • Polarized grey lenses to cut glare.
  • Impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses for safety.
  • Bayonet temples designed for military helmets.
  • Matte black finish that doesn’t reflect light.
  • Functional yet stylish Aviator/Pilot shape and styling.

The polarization allows guards to see clearly in the bright sunlight while blocking reflections. The glasses also protect their eyes from wind and debris.

Why Randolph Sunglasses Were Chosen

There are a few major reasons why the Tomb Guards opted to use sunglasses from Randolph Engineering:

  1. Randolph has over 30 years experience manufacturing military eyewear.
  2. They are made in the USA to strict military specifications.
  3. Polarized Aviator shape provides excellent sun glare protection.
  4. Matte finish doesn’t cause noticeable reflections.
  5. Bayonet temples securely attach to helmets.
  6. Randolph is an official manufacturer of military sunglasses.

The brand’s reputation for durable, high-performance tactical eyewear made them a perfect match for the demands of guarding the Tomb.

Additional Uniform Details

In addition to the iconic Randolph sunglasses, the Tomb Guard uniform consists of:

  • Standard issue uniform: Dress blue coat, white gloves, white belt.
  • Polished black shoes with steel heel plates to create clicking sound while walking.
  • Polyester wool blend dress trousers.
  • Pressed cotton long sleeve shirt with collar brass, medals, and badge.
  • Clean shaved face with squared away haircut. No facial hair allowed.
  • Unique satin silver hat with black band worn during walking duty.

Even minor smudges, tarnishes or imperfections on any piece of their uniform is unacceptable for the impeccably turned out Tomb Guards.

History of the Tomb Sunglasses

The Tomb Guards initially wore standard issued military sunglasses. In the 1990’s they switched to the Randolph Concorde style. The Concorde was later replaced with its sister model, the Randolph Aviator, which is the current approved sunglass.

Any change to the Tomb Guard uniform must be approved by the Army Chain of Command. The switch to the two authorized Randolph models resulted from intense testing to meet performance needs in the guards’ challenging environment.

Why Do Tomb Guards Wear Sunglasses?

Sunglasses serve both a functional and symbolic purpose for the Tomb Guards:

  1. Protect eyes from sun, wind, rain, and flying debris while on duty.
  2. Allows them to stare unmoving without passersby seeing direction of gaze.
  3. Complements overall formal uniform look and decorum.
  4. Part of larger effort to maintain an outward aura of perfection.
  5. Reinforces constant vigilance through concealed gaze.
  6. Shields emotions that could be visible through their eyes.

The iconic sunglasses are now an inseparable part of the Tomb Guard mystique.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What sunglasses do the Tomb Guards wear?

A: The Tomb Guards wear authorized Randolph Engineering sunglasses – either the Concorde or Aviator models. These sunglasses are chosen for their durability and glare reduction, allowing the guards to perform their duties effectively in various conditions while maintaining a sharp appearance.

Q: Why are these sunglasses chosen for the Tomb Guards?

A: These specific sunglasses meet military specifications, featuring polarized lenses that provide clear vision and minimize glare. The Bayonet temples ensure secure attachment to their helmets, enhancing the overall uniform presentation.

Q: Can the guards remove their sunglasses?

A: The guards seldom remove their sunglasses, ensuring continuous attention to their duty. They might temporarily take them off to address obscured vision caused by rain or debris.

Q: How often are sunglasses replaced?

A: Sunglasses are replaced as needed, especially when they become damaged or scratched. The guards maintain their uniforms with meticulous care to uphold their esteemed appearance.

Q: Do guards wear sunglasses at night?

A: No, the guards only wear sunglasses during daylight hours. At night, they continue their watch without eyewear, emphasizing their unwavering commitment to their solemn responsibility.


As the sun sets behind the dignified rows of graves, the significance of the sunglasses worn by the Tomb Guards comes into focus.

The authorized Randolph Engineering sunglasses, meticulously chosen and skillfully donned, signify more than just eye protection.

They embody a tradition of vigilance, a duty to honor the unknown heroes resting beneath them. In every reflective lens, there’s a glimpse of the dedication that drives these sentinels to stand strong, no matter the elements.

The sunglasses, like the guards themselves, become an enduring emblem of respect, reminding us that even in silence, a profound story is told.

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