It is certainly not the most globally significant nor the most damaging move da trumpeter has made, but it may well rank as one of the most pointless, vindictive for no reason, moves that he has made.
Major General Errol R. Schwartz is Commanding General of the Militia of the District of Columbia National Guard. He is responsible for operational readiness and command and control of the District of Columbia Army and Air National Guard units with an authorized strength of 2,700 Soldiers and Airmen. Major General Schwartz holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, a M.S. in Business Administration, and an M.S. in National Security Strategy. He joined the National Guard in 1976 and has won a number of prestigious awards, including Meritorious Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal. He was promoted to Major General in June 2008. For a full list of his accomplishments, click here.
The D.C. National Guard (DCNG) is the only unit commanded directly by the president – all others are commanded by state’s governors — and has supported many historic events such as the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The DCNG supported the unveiling of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and has supported Hurricane Katrina victims, and provides continuous support to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn in Iraq. Major General Schwartz has had responsibility for overseeing all these operations. He is a well-respected, honorable man who has served his country well for over 40 years.
Next Friday, the day of Trump’s inauguration, Major General Schwartz will be terminated, or forced to resign, at precisely 12:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, immediately after Trump takes the oath of office. Maj. Gen. Schwartz has helped plan the security for Inauguration weekend, and he will be charged with overseeing the D.C. National Guard as well as an additional 5,000 troops sent in for the weekend. But he will have to hand over command to an interim officer in the middle of Inauguration Day. Why?
Maj. Gen. Schwartz is, like other diplomats and ambassadors, a political appointee, which means that he serves at the will (or whim) of the president. Trump will become that person at 12:00 next Friday, and has ordered all political appointees out of their positions at 12:01.
Maj. Gen. Schwartz is taking it well, probably because he just turned 65 and says he is ready to retire anyway.
“The timing is extremely unusual. My troops will be on the street. I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory. I’m a soldier. I’m a presidential appointee, therefore the president has the power to remove me.”
I think I would be less stoic and a heck of a lot more rebellious, resigning immediately and letting someone else figure it all out, but I admire Schwartz’ dedication to his job, his country. Hats off to Major General Schwartz, and I hope he has a wonderful, long retirement. Thank you, Major General, for all you have given your country.
In other inaugural-related news, Charlie Brotman, who is 89 years young, is a retired broadcaster who has been the official announcer for every inaugural parade since the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957! The Trump team, however, decided to have somebody else perform that task this year, and Charlie was broken-hearted. But, once his story was published in The Washington Post, several area television stations offered Charlie a job announcing the parade for their stations. Charlie gave it some thought and decided to work that day for the Washington region’s NBC station, NBC4. He is once again excited, as are the station heads. A spokesman for the station said Brotman would be part of its inauguration coverage, and would draw from his extensive knowledge of presidential and parade knowledge to entertain viewers.
“Given Charlie Brotman’s long history in Washington and unparalleled experience with Inaugural parades celebrating presidents in both parties, we have invited him to be part of our Inauguration coverage on January 20. Charlie will provide his unique insights that people in Washington have enjoyed for many decades.”
And as for Charlie, he says: “Now, I’m all young and excited again. It’s a new day. Instead of talking to a few thousand people, I’m talking to a few million people.”
And one last note about the inauguration …
RFK Stadium is the main city-run parking option for charter buses during the inauguration and other events that take place in downtown D.C. Permits to park buses in the Stadium parking lot must be applied for in advance. 200 permits have been requested by charter bus companies for the day of the inauguration, January 20th. But 1,200 have been applied for the following day, the day of the Women’s March on Washington, which is a protest rally intended to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”