7,500 National Guard Soldiers Serve at Presidential Inauguration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 7,500 National Guard members from 44 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia were on hand to support the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.

“This is the Super Bowl event for the District of Columbia National Guard,” said LTC Nicole L. Brugato, a personnel officer at the National Guard Bureau who was part of the joint task force supporting the event. “Everybody from a private first class to [our] chief of staff is energized, and this is our opportunity to truly be the President’s Guard.”

Soldiers provided security, crowd control, traffic management, and logistics and communications capabilities while working with the Secret Service, United States Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, among other agencies.

SPC Shaleek Blackman, left, with the Delaware Army National Guard's 153rd Military Police Company, and SSG Eric Stunkard, with the Delaware Army Guard's 262nd Component Repair Company, keep an eye out as crowds make their way to the National Mall for the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Tech. SGT Erich B. Smith).

“[The inaugural event] took so many integral parts, so many pieces for it to come out smoothly,” said PFC Michael Arthur, a military police officer with the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 239th Military Police Company, who worked with officers from the Transportation Security Administration at a checkpoint along the inaugural parade route.

While boots on the ground played a key role in ensuring safety and security, Guard members could be found underground as well. SGT John Garnett of the Tennessee National Guard’s 251st Military Police Company worked with officers from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Police in providing added security in subway stations near the Capitol building.

For Garnett, the day was an exercise in being “vigilant and resilient, and dedicated to keeping everyone as safe as possible.”

In addition to providing support to local authorities, about 100 Guard members provided traditional ceremonial support, including marching in the inaugural parade.

The National Guard’s presence in the Presidential Inauguration dates to 1789, when local militia units and members of the regular Army took part in George Washington’s inaugural events in New York City.

CSM Wayne L. Bowser, the senior enlisted advisor of the District of Columbia National Guard, said he hoped young Soldiers left with a sense of fulfillment and pride from taking part in the inauguration.

“There is a small percentage of folks who wear the uniform,” he said. “There is a smaller [percentage] who will get a chance to be a part of this type of event.”

As part of its dual mission to serve the Nation and the community, the Army National Guard can be called up for other stateside events, too, like natural disasters. So, if you’re dependable and looking to make a difference in your community, check out the Guard as a career option. Service is typically part-time and close to home. You’ll train in one of 150 career fields and be eligible for fantastic benefits like money for college.

Visit our job board where you can search by job category, like medical or logistics. You can also search by keyword or location. And for personalized attention, contact a recruiter.

From an original article by Technical  SGT Erich B. Smith, which appeared in January 2017 in the news section of NationalGuard.mil.

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