Science

Head of DC National Guard ordered to resign during Trump inauguration

Head of DC National Guard ordered to resign during Trump inauguration

But when his troops come back to the armory at the end of the day, the commander of DC's National Guard won't be there to thank them for a job well done. Gen. Errol Schwartz, is being forced to step down from his post and that he has to leave his command on the 20th, during the presidential inauguration ceremonies.

Regardless, an interim replacement is already lined up and he will take over the moment Schwartz steps down on January 20.

The general said he would never plan to leave command in the middle of a mission.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday morning, Schwartz said that, "The timing is extremely unusual".

Schwartz noted haw odd this move was, considering how he would be in charge of thousands of troops gathered in the area for the ceremonial transfer of power.

Unlike in the states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.

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Schwartz had offered his resignation to President Barack Obama twice, but the request had been rejected. And President Clinton left Russell C. Davis - who had been appointed by President George H.W. Bush - in command of the force for almost all of his first term. And Russell C. Davis, who became commander under George H.W. Bush, held the position for nearly the entirety of President Clinton's first term. The Trump administration, however, appears to be making a hard break from that tradition, evidenced also by Trump's separate announcement that all politically appointed ambassadors - without exception - must bow out on Inauguration Day. The move leaves the Mr. Trump with a raft of diplomatic positions to fill with people of his choosing. And removing Schwartz may be part of that house-cleaning. At the time Schwartz departs, he will be in the midst of commanding thousands of Guard troops from the District and around the country who are providing support for the inauguration.

Phil Mendelson, the chairman of the DC Council said, "It doesn't make sense" to remove a general in the middle of an active deployment.

Brig. Gen. William J. Walker will take over at 12:01 p.m., when Schwartz's resignation takes effect.

It's unclear why exactly Trump decided not to keep Schwartz, mostly because military sources and transition team sources gave different accounts to The Washington Post.

Another military official with knowledge of the process said the Trump transition team receives lists of political appointees and can decide which resignations to accept.

Leaving his post during the inauguration is not something Schwartz would choose to do.


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