WASHINGTON - The Joint Task Force - National Capital Region 57th Presidential Inaugural Staff began preparations in support of the Presidential Inauguration. The task force is charged with coordinating all military ceremonial support for the inaugural period. As a joint component, it includes members from all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including Reserve and National Guard components.
Military involvement in the Presidential Inauguration dates back to April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, local militia units and revolutionary war veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony. Military support to the Inauguration honors the commander in chief, recognizes civilian control of the military and celebrates democracy.
"Our participation in the Presidential Inauguration is not just a historic occurrence, it represents one of the proudest traditions we have in the military -- recognizing and honoring our citizen's selection of the Commander in Chief," said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, Commander, Joint Task Force - National Capital Region. "We are at the beginning of a mission to provide the ceremonial support for one of the most nationally symbolic events our service members will ever take part. And by the end of it, their hard work will demonstrate the professionalism that we have taken so seriously for over 237 years in support of the Nation."
Participation by the armed forces traditionally includes musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen also provide invaluable assistance to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, a not-for-profit, partisan organization representing the president-elect, and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies.
The Secretary of Defense has authorized nearly 450 service members to be assigned to JTF-NCR by Inauguration Day to coordinate Department of Defense support in and around the District of Columbia. Historically, as many as 5,000 service members have participated in the celebration, both in view of the public and behind the scenes.
The most visible aspect of military participation is the Inaugural Parade.
JTF-NCR has begun accepting applications from organizations wishing to apply to participate in the parade. This includes bands, marching and mounted units, and floats.
Applications can be submitted on-line at: www.2013InaugurationParade.mil Interested parties can also access additional information about the parade and view detailed instructions for completing and submitting their materials. Organizations are able to log-in, create an account, enter relevant data, and upload organization photos, a group biography, video clips, and copies of supporting correspondence from government and political leaders. All applications must be submitted online.