NASHVILLE - Approximately 250 Tennessee National Guard soldiers and airmen will provide support for the presidential inauguration Monday, Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C., announced Maj. Gen. Terry “Max” Haston.
The majority of the guardsmen leaving for the nation’s capitol are U.S. Army military police officers and Air Force security forces members who will assist civil law enforcement with crowd management and security for the event.
The Tennessee Army National Guard will provide soldiers from across the state, but most are coming from the 268th Military Police Company in Ripley and Dyersburg, as well as the 252nd Military Police Company in Cleveland and Oneida.
The Tennessee Air National Guard is sending security forces personnel from the 134th Security Forces Squadron in Knoxville and the 118th Security Forces Squadron in Nashville.
In addition to military police and security forces, Knoxville’s 119th Command and Control Squadron will provide an eight-person team to the Washington, D.C., area with a self-sustaining, mobile satellite communication-based system. The deployed members will be directly supporting the U.S. Department of Transportation.
All units will be supporting the District of Columbia National Guard as part of a task force of roughly 6,000 Army and Air National Guard members from 15 states and territories.
“We’ve been supporting the presidential inauguration for many years,” said Haston, who serves as Tennessee’s adjutant general. “It is a time honored tradition, and I’m proud the Tennessee National Guard is involved.”
Military support at the inauguration is designed to celebrate democracy and honor the commander-in-chief while recognizing civilian control of the military.
Providing military ceremonial support to the inauguration dates back 224 years.
When President George Washington began his inaugural journey from Mount Vernon, Va., to New York City, local militias joined his inaugural procession as it passed through towns along the way.
When Washington arrived in New York, a presidential escort composed of members of the U.S. Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans accompanied him to Federal Hall for the presidential oath.
The military has continued this long inaugural tradition ever since.