Spotlight On: The Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
September 9, 2021 7PM – Virtual Event
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in Arlington National Cemetery. This program will examine the origins, history and true meaning of the Tomb. Also highlighted will be the Society of the Honor Guard, a non-profit organization created by Tomb Guards, who are committed to protecting and enhancing the welfare and image of the Tomb. This month’s special guest will be retired Tomb Guard Dennis J. McMahon III, Badge #320, Frist Sergeant, US Army (Ret). Please join us as we learn about and pay tribute to one hundred years of sacrifice.
Dennis J. McMahon III
First Sergeant, US Army (Ret)
Dennis J. McMahon III was born in Syracuse, New York and raised in Moon TWP, PA. He enlisted in the Army in April 1984 as an 11B, Infantryman and attended Basic and AIT at Fort Benning, Georgia.
McMahon’s first assignment was with the Old Guard, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Fort Myer, VA. He served with the First Presidential Marching platoon performing ceremonies at the White House and throughout the Capitol region, including the 1985 Presidential Inauguration Parade. He then volunteered and was selected to be a Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington National Cemetery. Following his 18-month assignment to the Tomb, 1SG McMahon earned the Tomb Guard Identification badge (badge # 320). This badge is the second least awarded badge in the military, following the Army Astronaut Badge.
In 1988, he reclassified as a 97B, Counterintelligence (CI) Special Agent. His multiple worldwide assignments were from Germany, to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea and multiple state-side assignments. Dennis retired in September 2004 as a First Sergeant.
McMahon’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Superior Award (with numeral 2), the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with star), Korean Defense Service Medal, South West Asia Service Medal (w/3 bronze stars), the Saudi Arabia/Kuwait Liberation Medals, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. McMahon has been awarded the following badges: Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Identification Badge (#320), Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the German Schutzensnier (Bronze award). He has also been inducted in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and is a recipient of the Military Intelligence Corps Knowlton Award.
He has been married to Lisa (Smith) McMahon since 1984 and they have 3 boys: Connor (27), Austin (24) and Evan (23).
Dennis currently works for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Boyers, PA as a Senior Personnel Security Specialist and they make their home in Coraopolis, PA.