12 National Guard members removed from inauguration duty

by Jenny Mount · Jan 19th, 2021 4:05 pm

Last Updated Jan 21st, 2021 at 1:06 pm

The Chief of the National Guard Bureau announced that 12 Army National Guard members have been removed from inauguration duty in Washington, D.C. Their removal was part of the security vetting process initiated to ensure the troops do not have ties to extremist groups.

Two members were found to have made "inappropriate" comments and texts. An additional 10 members were removed for questionable behavior.

"I'm not concerned as a large part of our organization, if you look at 25,000, we've had 12 identified and some of those they are just looking into, it may be unrelated to this, but we want to make sure out of an abundance of caution as I stated earlier that we do the right thing until that gets cleared up," said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson.

According to acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, there is "no intelligence indicating an insider threat" to the inauguration.

"As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C. While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital," said Miller. "This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique."

Currently there are 25,000 National Guard members in the nation's capital, which is the maximum number authorized by the Pentagon.

"What happens is they're screened before they leave their state and what it is is a credentialing process so they're screened and they're repeatedly screened until they are actually put on the street," said Major Gen. William Walker.

Service members arriving in Washington, D.C., are also receiving additional training on reporting anything they see or hear that is deemed inappropriate.

"The Army is committed to working closely with the FBI as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army," an Army spokesperson said in a written statement, adding that any activity involving "violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of peace" may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or under state and federal law.


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