Armed Forces Inaugural Support Begins
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2004 The Joint Task Force Armed Forces Inaugural Committee announced Nov. 3, the day after the elections, that it's open for business.
The unit is providing military ceremonial support to the 2005 presidential inaugural. The committee is formed several months before the presidential election to provide military ceremonial support to the Inauguration and related activities during the 10- day period that culminates with Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
The military tradition of providing inaugural support started in 1789. Then, local militias joined George Washington's inaugural procession as it passed through towns along the way from his home in Mount Vernon, Va., to New York City. When Washington arrived in New York, a presidential escort composed of Continental Army members accompanied him to Federal Hall for the presidential oath.
The Defense Department established the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee in the 1950s as a temporary task force comprised of soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen to render military honors to the president during inaugural events. President Dwight Eisenhower was the first to have committee support for his Inauguration in 1953.
Army Maj. Gen. Galen Jackman and Air Force Brig. Gen. Duane Lodrige are commander and deputy, respectively. The committee is also the DoD liaison to support the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
(Based on a press release from Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee.)