Donald Trump was never going to play nice after winning against all odds. However, the extent to which he’s cleaning house is growing more staggering as Inauguration Day approaches. He already made the unprecedented move of ordering all Obama ambassadors to swiftly vacate their overseas posts regardless of family circumstances. Then, he dropped the Inaugural Parade announcer of 60 years (a few weeks after the man’s wife died). Yet Trump’s next firing may be his most ice-cold move yet, as he’s ordered the head of D.C.’s national guard to leave during the Inaugural Ceremony.
On Friday, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz told the Washington Post that his employment will end precisely at 12:01 pm on Jan. 20. This symbolic timing means that he has to resign right after Trump becomes president but before the Inaugural Parade marches by the White House, and he must resign while he’s doing his job. Schwartz’s recent duties have involved months of preparation for the inauguration, which he coordinated with the U.S. Secret Service and D.C. police, but he can’t finish the day. Yes, this will really happen:
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz would command not only the members of the D.C. guard but also an additional 5,000 unarmed troops sent in from across the country to help. He also would oversee military air support protecting the nation’s capital during the inauguration.
“My troops will be on the street,” Schwartz, 65, said. “I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said that he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”
Schwartz says no one informed him why he must vacate his position, but he’s been ordered to retire from a four-decade Army career while he’s overseeing his troops from a command center. In the middle of Inauguration Day!
President George W. Bush appointed Schwartz to his current position in 2008, and he continued his duties under President Obama. Schwartz prevailed through a decorated career, including overseeing the Air National Guard, but he’s most fondly regarded for founding the Youth Challenge Academy. He secured federal funding to launch and maintain the school for teenage dropouts, which is run out of a former juvenile delinquency center.
(Via Washington Post)