The military services have taken swift action to increase security after Thursday's shootings in Tennessee, even closing some facilities and telling Marine recruiters not to wear uniforms in public.
Defense Secretary Ash Cater approved immediate steps taken by the military branches to increase security and has told the services to get back to him by the end of next week with additional force protection measures, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement on Friday.
The steps were taken just a day after a gunman attacked two military facilities in Chattanooga, leaving four Marines and one sailor dead. Suspected gunman Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez was killed in the attacks on a joint-service recruiting station and a nearby Navy Operational Support Center.
What has happened to America? Our own military recruiters are not allowed to carry weapons on the job to protect themselves from potential harm.
How is arming recruiters violating a 19th century law barring using the military for law enforcement purposes? They would simply defend themselves if attacked. How is that related to law enforcement? Thats no different than open carry which many states have. People carrying openly are not acting as law enforcement.
He is hiding behind a twisted interpretation and in fact could arm them immediately based on the 1992 policy which by the way was signed by the Assistant SecDef. If SecDef has that kind of power he can simply say 'arm recruiters this afternoon'.
This is not hard. Arming recruiters is not a police action; it is self defense. Should the recruiters be trained because they are interacting with the public, yes. The same training police receive to prevent people from trying to take the weapon.
Reserve centers, etc. are different. Post an armed sentry, roving patrol, etc. Train them first. Sentry duty is, hopefully VERY boring. However, when you have a vehicle driving through the gate, the sentry needs to know what to do.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who is set to retire as Army chief in August, clarified remarks he made in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings which left four Marines and one sailor dead.
He says the Army is in fact considering whether to arm recruiters if the legal restrictions are lifted.
"When it comes to recruiting stations, we are looking at it now -- what are we doing now to best protect them," Odierno said in a sit-down interview as he prepared to leave the Army after 39 years of service. "We will look at every avenue -- arming them, there is some authority issues with that so we have to look all the way through that."
He says his remarks on Friday were misunderstood. On Friday, Odierno told reporters he was reluctant to arm soldiers on every base in the U.S., a position that led to criticism. He had said, "We have to be careful about over-arming ourselves," when asked about any plans to arm more soldiers at bases.
Odierno clarified to Fox News, "What got confused was another question asked to me, 'Do you think we should arm all our soldiers on all our installations.' That I have a problem with."
He says he was not referring to recruiters in his original remarks.
Meanwhile, at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, the Army general slated to replace Odierno and serve as the next Army chief says he is in favor of arming recruiters, if the legal restrictions are changed.
"As far as arming recruiters go, I think that's complicated, legally," Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "And there's issues involved throughout the country, but we'll have to come to grips with that and certainly something to consider."
Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Milley, "If the legal part of it can be resolved, do you think that they should, under certain conditions, be armed?"
"I think under certain conditions, both on military bases, and in our stations, recruiting stations, reserve centers, that we should seriously consider it, and in some cases I think it's appropriate," Milley said.
He and Odierno agree.
Asked to react to critics who say if a 21-year old civilian in Tennessee can carry a weapon why shouldn't a Marine or soldier, Odierno pointed to the Constitution.
"When you wear this uniform, you represent something very different. You represent the Constitution of our United States you represent all these other things, you have to make sure you are in line with that. Obviously, I want to protect our soldiers. Absolutely to the most highest standard we can. We want to come up with the best solution, what we don't want to do is rush to something and make a mistake," he said.
Military leaders are in part hamstrung by a 19th century law that bars the federal government from using the military for law enforcement purposes.
The service chiefs will make a recommendation to Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the end of the week on security changes. They are also considering adding bullet-proof glass at recruiting centers and surveillance patrols.
[Last edited Jul 21, 2015 16:43:10]