The Arlington Ladies are a group of women who attend the funeral of members of the American armed forces who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This group includes a man who is called Arlington gentleman.
This group was founded in 1948 after the Supreme Commander of the United States Air Force Hoyt Vandenberg and his wife Gladys witnessed how young members of the armed forces were buried without any family members were present at the funeral. Usually, only a clergyman, and the guard of honor were present. This took Gladys Vandenberg as an opportunity to create a group, which consisted of members of the officers' wives club and from then on all Air Force took part in funerals. In 1972, the wife of Creighton Abrams, Julia, a version of this group for the U.S. Army in 1985 and was followed by the Navy with the formation of a separate group. The Marines have officially no such group, but they send a representative of the Marine Commandant at any funeral.
Originally, the women appeared alone at the funeral services. For an additional companion finally decided as the Arlington Ladies into a kind of official part of the ceremony were. The attendants are members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. The soldiers of the Army usually serve four months as a companion, while the soldiers of the Navy are regularly entrusted with this task.
The ladies usually do not know much about the interred soldiers, with the exception of the information provided by the clergy. The Army Arlington Ladies should be wives or widows of Army members and have a recommendation from a current lady. The Navy and the Air Force followed with similar requirements for their ladies.