President Trump wants large parade in DC to show US military might

 
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President Trump wants large parade in DC to show US military might

Let me start with the AP article that gives the shell of the story:

President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand parade of the U.S. armed forces in Washington this year to celebrate military strength, officials said Tuesday.

The Washington Post, which was first to report the plan, said Trump wants an elaborate parade this year with soldiers marching and tanks rolling, but no date has been selected.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the request Tuesday evening. She said Trump wants the Pentagon to “explore a celebration” that will allow Americans to show appreciation for the military.

There was this line in there that struck me as absolutely correct as well:

Although Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has not commented publicly on the idea of a Washington military parade, the idea is not an obvious fit with his emphasis on focusing strictly, if not exclusively, on military activities that either improve the lethality of the armed forces or enhance their preparation for combat, or both.

So, I’m not entirely sure that the Pentagon would be fully behind this plan.  It’s expensive, would require a lot of time, sweat and money to pull off, and isn’t clearly aimed at making us fight any better.  I’m open to some argument that we might pull in more recruits and thus have better fighting capabilities, but am not convinced of it.

As noted in the AP article, the Washington Post broke the story, and it has a follow up by fellow Massachusian (and mourning Pats fan) Dan Lamothe that notes we’ve had such things in the past, just not lately:

President George H.W. Bush stood in a shirt and tie surrounded by bullet-proof glass in Washington in June 1991 as 8,800 U.S. troops and the weapons that helped the United States win the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein rumbled by him…

The $8 million-plus event attracted at least 200,000 people and was followed by an even larger celebration the next day in New York. It was a celebration of American martial history and prowess, and a good example of what it appears President Trump wants sometime later this year. The president has suggested that he has wanted one for more than a year, and the White House and Pentagon are now examining options.

Dan here is pointing out that we have done these in the past, but note how the AP article frames this part of it:

Muscular military parades of the kind that are common in authoritarian countries like China and North Korea are not quintessentially American. The U.S. traditionally has not embraced showy displays of raw military power, such as North Korea’s parading of ballistic missiles as a claim of international prestige and influence.

The AP article to me reads like someone taking a shot at either the idea of the parade, or at President Trump for suggesting it.  Comparisons to totalitarian regimes would be legitimate, except for the fact that a) we’ve done these in the past, and b) by all reports the genesis of this idea was watching France have one.

Either way, Lamothe goes through the history of American military parades, and notes that they all came after winning a conflict.  Maybe that is the difference here?  I’m not exactly clear on why the AP thinks this one makes us look like a totalitarian regime, whereas the ones for the Gulf War, both World Wars, the Civil War, etc were okay.

Dan did have this video of the parade from WWI included in his post, and I am including it here because with our founding being at the same time, it’s interesting to see how society (or at least fashion) has changed.

I’m fairly agnostic on holding a parade or not.  It does seem like a lot of money and effort, and I’m not entirely sure I see the pay off.  But again, I only started thinking about this when I read it this morning.  It’s not even clear if this would be focused on our current active servicemembers, or some sort of celebration of those who fought in the War on Terror, or even what the parade would be focused on.  Obviously a military parade for the 4th of July would mean something different than a Veterans Day parade.  DC is a bit of a nightmare already on the 4th of July with everyone in town for the fireworks, I fear to think what it would be with this.

I’m curious what others think though.  I’ve talked to a bunch of my brothers in arms about this, and the most immediate reaction tended to be hesitant.  Yes, it would be nice to see an outpouring of patriotic fervor, but would it do much more than bring us a transitory feeling of support in our country?  Another noted that if you hold this on a weekend, you basically just took away a holiday weekend from every troop who has to march in this, and significant training time as well, since we don’t do anything without practicing it.  You might think it wouldn’t take much to practice for a parade, but alas, I’ve seen it.  We had to practice for both of the times my unit had parades (after Bosnia and A-Stan) and it was pretty miserable.

But the AP and others tying it to totalitarian regimes is being somewhat unfair.  France isn’t one, and neither was the 1991 America that had one.  I guess there’s a lot of questions that need answering on this, not least of which being “what is the commander’s intent?”

Posted in the burner | 24 comments
 
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Comments

The bone spur cadet is seeking another self promotion. I do not want the US acting as as other bullies have done.

Let us focus on real mission priorities. Celebrations can procede when all are home.

Please answer these questions:
1. Is a parade necessary?
2. Does it spend money that could be used for a better purpose?
3. Does it take away troops from more important missions?
To me, the answer to these three queries is "No," meaning the nation should pass on this proposal.

1:YES 2:YES, the money can be used to help Disabled Veterans. 3: The American people has the right to see our Armforece on parade. Some of our American have never seen and Armforec Parade, So give them some pride in our soldier how go and fight for our freedom. I am a retired disabled veteran and a cold war veteran.

Having been in several Armed Forces parades (of a smaller scale than this proposal) I can assure you that several people will faint (with the danger of injury when they fall), at least one will have heat stroke and more will if ANY of the multiple days practicing for the parade are HOT. For most of the troops, it is not 'fun" in fact it is a moral killer and an interuption of their training duties. If you know someone who wants to see a parade tell them find one on YouTube. Most people will only be able to see it on TV anyway.
GV Goff Col, USA (Ret)

I spent a good part of my regular army career stateside. As a result, there were many ceremonial duties. Ones that were most important or meaningful were the funeral details. The least important to me were the civic parades. These are marketing actions. Don't spend the money to make the brass and politicians look good or massage their egos. Spend the money on personnel support and arms research.

Taxpayers money and servicemembers time should be put to better use on more important issues.... not parades.

Instead of his monthly pep rallies, he now wants his own parade??
The parade attended by President George HW Bush was after the 100 day war in Iraq. These types of parades are usually held after a war, I believe.

1:YES 2:YES, the money can be used to help Disabled Veterans. 3: The American people has the right to see our Armforece on parade. Some of our American have never seen and Armforec Parade, So give them some pride in our soldier how go and fight for our freedom. I am a retired disabled veteran and a cold war veteran.

It should be evident by now that he wants to be the center of everything.
He found excuses (5 times) to evade draft calls to serve his country. I can
excuse educational reasons, but so far he has not shown any sign of useful
education of the operation of the government.
At the very least, if he had served he should have gained an understanding
that leadership does not consist of threats, insults, blackmail.
It should also have shown him the value of working as a team.
SO: no, I do not think him worthy of a parade!

I think it would be great. It should be televised. Who cares what it cost. We waste our money on other bs all the time. Might even boost recruiting.

I agree with the comments I've read that say it is not money well spent. The local parades and honors mean much more. Certainly we can spend the millions of dollars and time it'll take on more necessary things. Pass on this please!

It was reported as Trump remarking: "We could do one of these even bigger and better." What we could better is take care of military family and veteran needs with the monies expected to throw an ego massage for the current administration. I wonder sometimes, when is enough, enough??

The past parades we have had were all to celebrate military victories, not to show military might. I believe our military proves its might on the battlefield and doesn't need a parade to prove anything. Parades honoring the military and its veterans should be kept at the local level where they have been. When this war on terror is finally over and the last armed service member comes home, then will be the time to celebrate victory with a parade larger than ever before.

Stressed troops who have been deployed multiple times, have much more important duties to attend to than a "CS" parade. The money that would be spent on the logistics alone, to pull such and event together would be better applied to meeting veterans needs. I must admit, however, if the President's intent is to accelerate infrastructure repair, rolling Abrams tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue should accelerate his agenda. If the Commander and Chief wants to review a military parade he should attend any number of events staged annually at military bases throughout the nation.

Stressed troops who have been deployed multiple times, have much more important duties to attend to than a "CS" parade. The money that would be spent on the logistics alone, to pull such and event together would be better applied to meeting veterans needs. I must admit, however, if the President's intent is to accelerate infrastructure repair, rolling Abrams tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue should accelerate his agenda. If the Commander and Chief wants to review a military parade he should attend any number of events staged annually at military bases throughout the nation.

There is no reason to have a military parade supporting presidents Ego. This is the United States, our military is the best in the world and we do not need a dictators parade. He can atten all he wants on Veterns Day and Memorial Day honoring those who served.

The money and time spend on the parade could be use to support military and veterans health care. Use the resources to keep the promises that were made to us. I have to pay for dental and health care that I was promised to be free for the rest of my life if I gave my country 20 years of service. I gave 26 years and my health.
The security night mare that a parade would cause, have the troops at a disadvantage to attacks from our enemy. The shear amount of logistics that will be involved. As a trooper, I wanted to be at home with my family because of the little time that we get to spend together. If you support the military this is a poor example of showing support for them, by taking their precious little family time away from them. The military is not a show boat, it is about mission accomplishment. The military is not a popularity contest. It is about mission, duty, honor, and country. If they have never worn the boots, they just don't get it.
Mission First, People always

Really !! Come on get a grip !! I am a Vietnam Era Vet . Did we get a parade ? I am not vindictive but I see my other brother as well as sister veterans dealing with the VA for promised health care and dying before care arrives .It's not only Vietnam vets but Korea vets as well as WWII vets seeking health care .Here in Denver we have a VA hospital way over budget and still not open . Let's provide the proper care necessary rather than give Washington another excuse to waste taxpayer money .

Bringing troops to DC to march down PA Ave would be fine. Give the troops a free trip to see our Capital and sightsee for awhile would be great for morale and not a major inconvenience to OPTEMPO. Moving tracked vehicles, missile systems like Patriot and ATACMS, Artillery, et al, however would be a major disruption to any unit tasked to do it. Coming from places like Kentucky, the Carolinas and such requires extensive planning. Railhead operations, scheduling, manpower commitments and cost would be significant. Training schedules that are planned months in advance would be disrupted, range time would become chaotic and resources from fuel to food would be stretched to the breaking point.
Its not a good idea if equipment is part of the plan. If its just personnel... it sounds great.

You know, it’s funny how the media, and other not to be named people don’t seem to have a proble throwing away our tax dollars on non American issues and folks. Any one mentions anything about spending a few dollars on a pro American pride parade so we can start being proud of ourselves again as a nation, thankful for being U.S. citizens and it’s treated as outrageous and a waste of dollars.
I’m for An American Pride parade and if it happens to show the world our Military might so be it.

HAPPY SATURDAY !!!
As a youth growing up in the 50s, every Memorial Day Philadelphia had their parades. Eventually, the size of the force was reduced for any number of reasons. We all felt good seeing "Old Glory" and the Troops march by. We proudly stood with Hand on heart in salute. Later in the 60s & 70s, the local parade would feature our people active military and Viet Nam Vets. Once again, we proudly stood with hand over heart and applauded our "forgotten brothers and sisters.
I say to all of you saber rattlers. You are missing our Presidents' point. He's proud of our people and he wants all of America to be proud of the people that gave and continue to give. Bring the military and patriotism out in the open for all to see. Let all of these misinformed citizens come back to reality.
HOORAH !
GO EAGLES !
Tony

No Parade's; use the money to help rebuild our country's crumbling infrastructure!

I applaud the idea expressed earlier that the broken veterans of these wars be given front row in the parade with their wheels chairs and gurneys being pushed along by members of
Congress and the military brass. Let's "show the world" how proud we are of their loss.

Are you crazy? (oh forgot POTUS) No parade. Give our stressed military a break.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.