Marching Orders: D.C. Guard Aids Event

NGAUS Washington Report

(Sept. 3, 2013) National Guardsmen from the District of Columbia were on duty last week when thousands of marchers from throughout the country descended on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Manning traffic control points and serving as roving guards, soldiers and airmen supplemented partners such as the National Park Police and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department in a longstanding tradition of collaboration.

"The District of Columbia National Guard is a big overall asset because local and federal law enforcement can augment their manpower with about 100 to 200 soldiers,” said 1st Sgt. Rodney Butler of the D.C. Guard’s 275th Military Police Company. “They can reroute or reuse their manpower in other locations. This helps spread resources throughout the city."

Soldiers were able to build on prior training and missions, such as providing support for the presidential inauguration, while continuing to reinforce relationships with local and federal law enforcement agencies.

"It differs from the inauguration because there were more protests," said Staff Sgt. Andre Easley of the 275th MP Co. "You saw a different type of crowd and you saw a different type of element. This is some of the stuff that they focus on in common tasks in military police school: dealing with different levels of crowds and dealing with traffic control points."

Different military occupational specialties ranging from military police to medical personnel answered the call of duty by manning traffic control points while continuously improving on their specific job tasks.