Pentagon: No Tanks for Military Parade Requested by Trump

From left, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, U.S. Transportation Command deputy commander, and Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, Transcom commander, meet with Defense Secretary James N. Mattis at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, on Feb. 21, 2018. (Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Oz Suguitan)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Pentagon has determined that the military parade sought by President Trump won’t include tanks but will outfit some soldiers in period uniforms.


Trump said a month ago that he wanted to see a big military parade in D.C. After attending the last Bastille Day parade in Paris back in July, Trump said that “to a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington, down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

In November, Trump likewise praised a military parade he witnessed in China.

“The hosting of the military parade this morning was magnificent, and the world was watching. I’ve already had people calling from all parts of the world. They were all watching. Nothing you can see is so beautiful,” he said of the communist nation’s show of strength.

A memo to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outlines the initial guidelines for the Veterans Day parade, which would travel down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House and past Trump’s hotel before arriving at the Capitol. Trump would review the troops at the Capitol, surrounded by veterans and Medal of Honor recipients.

“This parade will focus on the contributions of our Veterans throughout the history of the U.S. Military, starting from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to today, with an emphasis on the price of freedom,” states the memo.

Primary planning for the parade will rest with the Joint Staff, while NORTHCOM will be in charge of executing the plan.


The memo lists “planning considerations” from Defense Secretary James Mattis, including integrating the event with the usual Veterans Day parade that takes place every year in D.C.

It would include veterans service organizations and “represent veterans from previous wars by formations wearing period uniforms,” as well as re-enactments.

“The parade will highlight the evolution of women veterans from separate formations in World War II to today’s integrated formations,” the memo adds.

And only wheeled vehicles would be allowed — “no tanks,” as “consideration must be given to minimize damage to local infrastructure.” D.C. officials had been furious about the prospect of tanks tearing up local streets.

Instead, the parade would get a “heavy” flyover, including “older aircraft as available.”

Initial administration estimates said the parade could cost taxpayers up to $30 million.


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