National Guard Provides Assistance For Peaceful Transition Of Power
by 2nd Lt. Deborah Ou-Yang, DC National Guard
January 20, 2021
In past presidential inaugurations, the District of Columbia
National Guard has escorted presidents, marched in ceremonial
parades, conducted crowd management and ensured the safety of
participants of the event.
While the D.C. National Guard plays no less pivotal a role, this
year turned out to be a bit different.
DC National Guard members, stand in front of
the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C on January 5, 2021
and along with over 25,000 other Nation Guard members will remain on security duty for
the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021.. The District of Columbia National Guard activated several hundred personnel to support the city government during expected demonstrations.
(DC National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Anthony Small)
The reality of life
during a pandemic already brought anticipated changes to the 59th
Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021 ... a limited
in-person footprint, social distancing guidelines and other
precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
beginning of January, approximately 340 National Guardsmen were
assigned to manage traffic and provide logistical support to law
enforcement. 'First amendment demonstrations' were planned for
January 5 and 6.
Then protests devolved into riots at the Capitol on January 6,
2021 with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requesting additional assistance.
In response, acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller mobilized 6,200
Guardsmen from six states ... Maryland, Virginia, New York, New
Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to include 1,100 members of the
D.C. National Guard.
The National Guard members of each state
remain under their respective governor’s control and adhere to D.C.
To meet current and future inauguration support
requirements, the National Guard received support requests from the
Secret Service, Capitol Police, and Park Police and were authorized
to provide up to 15,000 Guard members ... that was then increased to
Bringing in additional servicemembers is not
unprecedented. More than 7,500 National Guard soldiers and airmen
from 44 states, two territories and the District supported the 58th
presidential inauguration in 2017.
“The District of Columbia
National Guard is in a support role to the local authorities, which
will enable them to provide a safe environment for our fellow
citizens to exercise their first amendment right to demonstrate,”
said Maj. Gen. Walker, Commanding General of the D.C. National
Every member of the National Guard – military and
civilian – swears an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.
Miller said in a written release from the Pentagon, “I, and the
people I lead in the Department of Defense, continue to perform our
duties in accordance with our oath of office, and will execute the
time-honored peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden
on January 20.”
Note: Minor editing with updated information.
National Guard |
Air National Guard
U.S. Department of Defense