United States Capitol Guide Service

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Patch of the United States Capitol Guides

The United States Capitol Guide Service is a guide service charged by the United States Congress to "provide guided tours of the interior of the United States Capitol Building for the education and enlightenment of the general public, without charge for such tours." It exists under 2 U.S.C. § 2166.

Created in 1876 in honor of the United States turning 100 years old, the Capitol Guide Service is subject to the direction, supervision, and control of a Capitol Guide Board consisting of the Architect of the Capitol, the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives. These same three officials also make up the Capitol Police Board. Key Guide Service personnel include the Director, four Assistant Directors, as well as a large number of regular guides.

Personnel of the Capitol Guide Service may also be transferred to the United States Capitol Police force at the discretion of the Capitol Guide Board to provide ushering and informational services, and other services not directly involving law enforcement. This sometimes happens during major events, such as presidential inaugurations and Lying in State ceremonies.

South Visitor Facility

The Capitol Guides operate out of facilities located on the south side of the United States Capitol. Visitors are processed through the South Visitor Facility which includes security screening and then directed into the Capitol, itself, via a walk around the west front of the building to enter through a west terrace door. Behind the South Visitor Facility is a trailer, which serves as the temporary rest area and locker facility for the guides. Upon the opening of the Capitol Visitor Center(CVC), both buildings will be destroyed and all guide related operations will occur within the visitor center.

Rate of Tours[edit]

Tours begin every 10 minutes.

Uniform[edit]

The Capitol Guide Service has two uniforms, a full dress and summer uniform. The full dress uniform is notable for its striking red blazer with a circular patch on the left breast. Its accompanied by a white shirt, navy blue tie, and navy blue pants. It can be accompanied by a navy blue vest. It is required for ceremonies and other formal occasions, as well as cold weather. The less formal summer uniform is a red cotton short sleeve polo shirt with circular patch on the left breast. It is accompanied by navy blue pants. The summer uniform is generally not worn until temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.