Army Ceremonial Responsibilities for the Presidential Inauguration 2009

Wednesday January 14, 2009

What is it?

The 56th Presidential Inauguration takes place in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2009. Military involvement in Inaugurations dates back to 1789 when the U.S. Army, local militia units and revolution war veterans escorted President George Washington to his first Inauguration ceremony.

The Inauguration has been deemed a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. When an event is designated a NSSE, the U.S. Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan.

What has the Army done?

Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region is dual-hatted as the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and the regional subcommand of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). It is charged with ground-based homeland defense and defense support to civil authorities. When called upon it becomes a Joint Task Force for whatever period may be necessary. When activated, Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) directs all military forces committed to a regional crisis within the NCR.

During the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, JTF-NCR is supporting the U.S. Secret Service and its federal, state and local partner agencies.

JTF-NCR's primary task during the Inaugural period is to provide world-class ceremonial support. In this effort, the Department of Defense will provide 5,000 troops for this mission alone. The 3rd Infantry Regiment, known as the "The Old Guard," located at Ft. Myer, Va. , is providing support from escorting the president from the Capitol to the White House to firing the 21-gun salute during the swearing-in ceremony. The Old Guard's Fife and Drum Corps will also be marching in the president's escort. TOG is also providing more than 350 Soldiers for street cordon. Another 2500 service men and women will provide support capabilities that authorities have asked for.

Why is this important to the Army?

During the Inaugural Ceremony, JFHQ-NCR is proud to represent the two million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. JTF-NCR is also involved in the planning of potential consequence management operations for possible contingencies during events including the State of the Union, the 2008 Papal Visit, and the 9-11 Memorial dedication.

Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region understands the historic nature of this Inauguration. Our preparations are no different based on who is elected - we are always at the highest level of preparation and readiness.


Armed Forces Inaugural Committee Web site

Office of the President-Elect Web site

Related article: Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps prepares for inauguration


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