If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book

What is the Caisson Platoon?

Print. Every day, the soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (“The Old Guard”) carry out the sacred duties of the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon. The platoon conducts eight full honors funerals a day, carrying fallen servicemen and women to their final resting places at Arlington National Cemetery.

What is a caisson in a funeral?

Caisson is a horse drawn wagon or cart. The two caissons used at the Cemetery are from the WWI time period circa 1918-1919. Originally the caisson was used to bring artillery onto the battlefield. Once the artillery was off-loaded, the caisson was loaded with bodies of fallen service members.

Why are caissons used to carry the caskets at Arlington?

Horse-drawn caissons with large custom wooden wheels are kept in service to transport the casket. Traditionally, they were used to move artillery ammunition and cannons. If you witness a funeral at Arlington, you may notice a horse without a rider among the team.

Are caissons still used?

Caissons are generally used as the means to complete new construction, and may act as a cofferdam of sorts while the construction is ongoing.

Why are boots backwards on funeral horse?

The Cap Horse is led by the Cap Walker, and boots of the deceased are placed in the stirrups backwards. The backwards boots are intended to symbolize the rider looking back towards the living one last time before riding into the beyond.

What kind of horses are used at Arlington National Cemetery?

“The ones that go to Arlington National Cemetery are basically a half-blood draft. They’re mostly Percheron. These are horses that weigh 1,250 to 1,400 pounds and stand around 16 hands high.”

Is the caisson platoon at Arlington National Cemetery?

This post is about the Caisson Platoon at Arlington National Cemetery and how to visit the Fort Myer stables. It is a scene that defines Arlington National Cemetery and reminds the visitor that this cemetery is no outdoor museum, rather it is an active cemetery.

Where does the caisson platoon go to funerals?

In addition to full honor funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, the Caisson Platoon also takes part in presidential inaugural parades and presidential funerals as well as other military or historic events in the Washington, DC area.

How long is the tour of the caisson platoon?

Our Arlington National Cemetery tours end around 1230pm making this a perfect extension to the walking tour. On the tour of the Caisson Platoon, you’ll see the horses and stables but also the tack room and maybe even the farrier at work. Tours last about 45 minutes and are free.

When is the tour of Arlington National Cemetery?

Tours are available on a walk in basis on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12pm-4pm, though larger groups can contact the platoon in advance to arrange scheduled tours. Our Arlington National Cemetery tours end around 1230pm making this a perfect extension to the walking tour.