The Department of Defense has decided to support National Guard members being armed ahead of Inauguration Day. This decision was made by the Pentagon on Jan. 12, 2021.
On Monday, January 11, the FBI warned security at all 50 capitals about planned armed protests. As the nation braces for more extreme violence, the National Guard has been sent to assist in protecting the Capitol.
The first wave of National Guard troops was unarmed when they arrived in Washington D.C. At this time the Army has been discussing whether or not the troops will be armed with lethal or nonlethal weapons on January 20 — Inauguration Day.
A spokesperson for D.C. National Guard, Captian Chelsi Johnson, stated the armed request was made by federal authorities. Furthermore, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy is the one who authorized arming the National Guard.
According to Johnson, “National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities.” He further stated that this included “protective equipment and being armed if necessary.”
There are plans to have around 15,000 troops could be at the Capitol for Joe Biden’s inauguration. General Daniel Hokanson — chief of the National Guard Bureau — stated they want to be able to meet current and future requests that may arise during the inauguration.
The Secret Service and United States Army are working together to determine if any National Guard members need further background screening. According to an Army spokesperson, the D.C. branch of the Guard will be providing additional training to service members as they arrive at the Capitol. This will allow them to report anything inappropriate before the troops help stand guard.
The spokesperson further commented that the U.S. Army is “working closely with the F.B.I. as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol.” This is “to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army.”
Currently, the Defense Department has a policy that requires all service members to be annually trained to report any and all extreme “behavior that could be a threat to the department” or the U.S.
The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff have reminded all its military forces of their oaths. Like their oath to defend the Constitution especially after the attacks on the Capitol on January 6. All military personal swore to defend and support the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, both domestic and foreign.
In the letter produced by the Joint Chiefs, they emphasized that Biden will become our 46th President on January 20. It is their duty to protect the constitutional process from being disrupted. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are made up of the top eight military officials — including chiefs of the National Guard Bureau.
This letter was released on January 12. Every capital around the nation is standing guard against the possibility of what may happen. This of course concerns many Americans as the days count down to Biden’s inauguration.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NPR: Joint Chiefs Remind U.S. Forces That They Defend The Constitution; by Dustin Jones
CNN: Pentagon authorizes arming of National Guard members supporting Capitol security; by Chandelis Duster and Barbara Starr
Inline Image by California National Guard Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Featured Image by Georgia National Guard Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License