President Trump wants a military parade

| September 19, 2017 | 79 Comments

Chief Tango sends us a link to the Washington Post which reports that the president’s visit to France’s Bastille Day parade which showcased France’s military might has influenced Trump to inquire to his military chiefs to organize a military-style parade on Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Monday, seated next to Macron, he boasted about the levels of U.S. military spending so far in his term. And he said his goal would be to “try to top” what France did.

“I think we’re looking forward to doing that,” Trump said. “I’m speaking with General Kelly and with all of the people involved, and we’ll see if we can do it this year,” he added, referring to Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment about plans to hold such a parade.

There have been July 4th parades a block over from Pennsylvania Avenue every year. While they included some military aspects, there have been no tanks, artillery, fly-overs and things that Trump envisions in his parade.

In my opinion, we don’t need a parade to showcase our military force – it’s on display around the world on any given day, in action and on nearly every continent. Military might on parade isn’t in the American character – we are not a tin-pot dictatorship like the Russians, the Chinese, North Korea and the others around the world which puts it’s force in the streets as tacit threat to control their own people under the guise of patriotism.

I also sympathize with the common soldiers who will take time out of their training to scrub and paint vehicles in preparation for a martial pageant, the hours of practice they will have to engage in will only detract from their readiness for real world engagements.

If anyone were bother to ask me about this, I’d have to vote an emphatic “No!”

Category: Big Pentagon

Comments (79)

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    Yeah, I’m with you Jonn.
    Unnecessary and a waste of time and resources.

    /forced morale

    • DevilChief says:

      Yeah and DC traffic is bad enough as it is.

    • Sapper3307 says:

      Find a division review and enjoy.

    • old98z says:

      No retirement parade for me because I just didn’t have the heart to drag any out to the parade field one more time than necessary.

      If I ever locked elbows to do a ‘ten person wheel turn’ again …

      and Mr. Chip, I really correct a post, but at best this is / forced non-morale.
      Cog and pony shows were always the worst.
      Can anyone here just the waste that goes into change of command of command or retirement ceremonies? /rhetorical

      My favorite retirement was an old Vietnam vet platoon sergeant I met in 1974. He opted to have me as a witness – after receiving his retirement documents and flag in the CO’s office he said – ‘let me slip int something more comfortable” – went int the CO’s office latrine; dropped his uniform and walked out in a polo shirt and chinos. Never to be seen again.

    • old98z says:

      No retirement parade for me because I just didn’t have the heart to drag any out to the parade field one more time than necessary.

      If I ever locked elbows to do a ‘ten person wheel turn’ again …

      and Mr. Chip, I really correct a post, but at best this is / forced non-morale.
      Cog and pony shows were always the worst.
      Can anyone here just the waste that goes into change of command of command or retirement ceremonies? /rhetorical

      My favorite retirement was an old Vietnam vet platoon sergeant I met in 1974. He opted to have me as a witness – after receiving his retirement documents and flag in the CO’s office he said – ‘let me slip int something more comfortable” – went int the CO’s office latrine; dropped his uniform and walked out in a polo shirt and chinos. Never to be seen again.

    • old98z says:

      and Mr. Chip, I rarely correct a post, but at best this is / forced non-morale.
      Dog and pony shows were always the worst.
      Can anyone here justify the waste that goes into change of command of command or retirement ceremonies? /rhetorical.

      My favorite retirement was an old Vietnam vet platoon sergeant I met in 1974. He opted to have me as a witness – after receiving his retirement documents and flag in the CO’s office he said – ‘let me slip into something more comfortable” – went into the CO’s office latrine; dropped his uniform and walked out in a polo shirt and chinos. Never to be seen again.

  2. Sgt Fon says:

    dito, a Pass in Review is hard enough when its a division commander swap, cant imagine what it would take, how many LT’s would be permanently broken by something like that.

    If he want to do something cool, how about chopper in to a Bn in the field with a keg or two of beer and sit down and talk with some of the troops. i would be all for that, as long as it was unannounced so we wouldn’t have to spend a week police calling the sand…

  3. Carlton G. Long says:

    I fully agree regarding not wanting to compromise readiness, but I would enjoy seeing snowflakes melting over such a parade.

    • akpual says:

      Yep, two ways to look at it I suppose.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Isn’t the 4th of July the best time for that?

      You know: heat, sunshine, melting snowflakes… that sort of thing.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        I wonder how soon we’ll hear snowflakes bawling for the 4th of July to no longer be celebrated because they deem it to be “racist and oppressive”?

        • David says:

          They are already whining about cotton plants being displayed. Symbols of slavery and all that…conveniently ignoring that they are probably wearing cotton blend fabrics at the time. Haven’t heard of slaves picking cotton here for a while, either… apparently we have some 150+ year olds running around

          • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

            Next thing you know they’ll want to make whistling “Dixie” a lynchable offense.

            • David says:

              and you ain’t just whistlin’ – oh, wait.

              Worth noting that it was composed by a northerner for a minstrel show in 1859. “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” was popular on both sides of the Civil War. Not sure how the SJWs feel about it nowadays: it was loved in the South but it does say “and we’ll all feel gay” so surely they approve.

          • Ex-PH2 says:

            So they not only want to put cotton farmers down in Texas out of business, but they also want to deprive Indian and Egyptian cotton farmers of their livelihood, never mind being able to support their families.

            Yeah, that makes a huuuuuge lot of sense.

  4. Flagwaver says:

    Take time out of their training? You mean besides the time it takes to go to the “don’t rape anyone” classes, the “don’t be offensive” classes, the “don’t get drunk” classes, or the “training” in area beautification and how to properly show up four hours before a 0600 weapon draw that happens at 0700 for a training mission that starts at 1000 but doesn’t actually happen until 1300?

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    How about he goes down to Quantico once a week to the shooting range and gets in some practice instead? Or just goes to various graduations like LeJeune or Great Lakes or whatever? Or how about an unannounced visit to the Civil War re-enactment at Gettysburg?

    No, we have our parades on the 4th of July and other holidays. We don’t need tanks tearing up the pavement while we’re at it, never mind the cost of something like that.

    And we sure as hell do NOT need this, an hour and a half of ND:tBF, feeding his useless inflated ego:

  6. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Yep, nothing like getting up at 0-dark-thirty to clean up, shave, get into uniform, get inspected a few times, get transported to the location and sweat while marching in a parade so the public can “appreciate ” you, GREAT for morale, kinda like a Brigade CoC ceremony when we stood in formation with fixed bayonets out in the sunshine.

  7. Geetwillickers says:

    Oh. Hell. No.

    The MOADPS (Mother Of All Dog and Pony Shows)

    If Trump’s plan is to cause all military readiness work to grind to an absolute halt while every soldier, sailor, airman, marine, and coastie within 100 miles of DC spends three months polishing brass and trying to remember not to lock their knees while hallucinating in the sweltering july heat – then yeah… He might succeed.

    If he really wants to impress the world with our military might – drop another MOAB or two, and make sure that some good imagery of the resulting devastation is released to the right media outlets.

    Not a Damn Parade!

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    The ONLY military parades we should have should be the “Welcome Home From the War”, AFTER the war that WE win, like this one. (Of course, the 82nd Airborne starts off first. 😉 )

  9. Twist says:

    In 95 President Clinton came to Hawaii to celebrate VJ Day. It was a 2 day event. Day 1 was a ceremony and day 2 was a parade. If you were in the Military on the island of Oahu you were in formation at the ceremony. Clinton was 4 hours late and long winded when he actually got there and spoke. When time came for pass and review the 25th ID formation was half the size it was when it started due to fall outs. The next day we did a parade down Waikiki where Clinton was encased in bullet proof glass.

  10. David says:

    well, it isn’t his biggest dumbass idea… but it’s pretty close. Reinforces my contention that any politician running for Congress or President should be prior enlisted. No offense to you officer types, but there are far too many ex-Oh types like Skerry around and far too few Mattis types. I dream of a Cav Sergeant Major in the White House. If that happened, you’d be more likely to hear “OK, for the 4th we have a kegger for all troops…and an alert at 0300 the 5th to allow ’em to sleep in.”

  11. Martinjmpr says:

    …And while he’s at it, he should have his tailor design him a Marshall’s uniform, bedecked with medals (and a sash of course…)

    Sorry, my eyes just rolled so far back in my head that I was looking at my brain for a second.

    Yeah, I’m with you Jonn. Besides the fact of taking a significant amount of time and effort to produce something that adds zero value to our military forces, we’re not the kind of country that needs to show off our military gear to prove how tough we are.

    For that matter, I’ve always thought that in countries like the USSR, North Korea, China, etc, that have “military parades” like this, the REAL intention of that display of hardware was to intimidated the citizens (subjects) of their own country by showing them “this is what we have to fight you if you resist us.”

    And since we have a tradition of citizen-soldiers, that would be pretty much counter to our way of thinking.

  12. Martinjmpr says:

    On the other hand, the SJWs might approve of something like this:

  13. USAFRetired says:

    I still remember the post DESERT STORM parade and flyovers.

    I’m with you Jonn, lets NOT do this.

  14. some guy says:

    Well said, Jonn. IMO only nations compensating for a lack of actual military power feel the need to put on shows like that. While we may have some shortcomings, a lack of power is definitely not an issue our military faces.

  15. Forest Green says:

    The only US Military parade I would like to see would be down the main drag of Pyongyang. Probably have to be done in NBC gear though.

  16. 26Limabeans says:

    Fuck No.
    I had to march in a parade every Sunday while at Ft. Monmouth for the Vip’s and their wife’s.
    “EYES RIGHT!”
    Fuck No.

  17. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    Yeah, I’ll pass.

    It’s like I told an Admiral once on what they could do to help our quality of life: “I don’t want a NAM, I want a NAP!”

    She laughed. The other khakis were not amused. I personally gave zero fucks. I got my NAM and was a civilian five months after that anyway.

    • David says:

      Back in the day of mandatory two-day HREO classes for all incoming troops, an E-8 was asked by an O-6 what he planned to do when he retired…the E-8 answered “stand on a corner and give nickel headers till I get my self-respect back.” Apparently that was not the answer the Colonel was expecting.

      • Roger in Republic says:

        When my old man retired after 28 years he was the only guy scheduled to retire that month. He was asked if he wanted anything special for his parade and he said that the best thing they could do for him was to cancel the parade and give the troops the afternoon off. He said that as long as they were going to waste the afternoon they might as well be doing something useful like screwing off. Amazingly enough the parade was cancelled and the GI’s were given the rest of that friday off. Pop was a Mustang and he always found parades a big waste of the troops time.

        • Silentium Est Aureum says:

          I’m hoisting a beer to your father in thanks for that.

        • Dinotanker says:

          Roger,

          Your Dad must have been an AWESOME guy! I have been accused of being less than tactful for my tendency to make “ringknocker” jokes. You Dad, having been promoted from the ranks, must have had some great stories to tell.

          With that said, one of the best company commanders I ever worked for is graduate of the Military Academy. But its just TOO fun to give USMA grads a hard time.

          I second SEA on hoisting a beer to your Dad!

  18. OWB says:

    On the other hand, just getting a bunch of folks talking about such a display has already brought about what may well have been his only intention. Sorry, all. Am leaning toward he never actually wanted to do more than poke the SJW’s with a visual which is sure to make more snowflake brains explode. I have to applaud his ability to continue to do that daily.

    Kinda like smiling all the way to the bank.

  19. Sparks says:

    Not a good idea. Not now.

  20. Green Thumb says:

    The Old Guard is going to love this tasker….

  21. Atkron says:

    No…stinks too much of the Mayday celebrations the Soviets staged.

  22. IDC SARC says:

    “I’d like to have two armies: one for display with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals, and dear little regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their General’s bowel movements or their Colonel’s piles, an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country. The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display, but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That’s the army in which I should like to fight.”

    ~ Jean Lartéguy

    • timactual says:

      Great writer. I read “The Centurions” along with Bernard Fall in the early ’60s. When I later went to RVN they caused me a depressing feeling of deja vu. I even got to spend some time on “la rue sans joie”.

  23. charles w says:

    He can take that Marcon guy to Arlington so he can thank the men who died liberating France.

  24. Bill Milewski says:

    As any soldier ever stationed in Berlin would tell you; We hated those holiday parades, screws up a perfectly good 3 day weekend.

  25. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    Wait, Trump saw a French military parade?

    Did he not notice they were marching backwards?

  26. FatCircles0311 says:

    Although I’m not for dog and pony shows, the suggestion by President Trump is obviously going to rustle the jimmies of scumbags, so in this case I’m all for it. Anything to stick it in their craws.

  27. Pinto Nag says:

    All Trump needs to do is put out the call, and every poser in the Western hemisphere will show up in their best finery.
    In the meantime, the REAL military can continue to do their jobs, without having to screw around strutting and preening for…

    *Sigh*

    What a goddam waste of tax money. I will NEVER vote again. EVER.

  28. Daedalus says:

    I’d rather show how powerful the US Armed Forces is by bombing the fuck out of ISIS than hosting a huge dog and pony show. This just sounds like a waste of time, more than anything.

    Of all the problems we have now, this isn’t going to help anything. Is this going to solve the training issues the US Navy has? Is it going to miraculously solve the spending issues at the Pentagon so the money will actually go to improving the Armed Forces? No, it won’t. I’d rather focus on the real problems and get them squared away.

  29. Gimpy says:

    I think a parade down Pennsylvania avenue is a fantastic idea,the country needs a moral boost when it comes to our military.Having a parade is so American,when I was a kid we always had parades with that local GI’s marching down the avenue and I always remember saying , ” I cannot wait till I become a soldier “, and I think most of the troops would be proud to march in one. Our country needs these things back, especially after that no good BUM Obama stripped the services down from the Top on down… I admire President Trump that he very Patriotic, isn’t that what we all are supposed to be in the first place?

  30. Keith Benbrook says:

    You guys need a to watch more Scott Adams of Dilbert fame.

    Probably a part of his multiphase persuasion scheme against N. Korea.

  31. Dustoff says:

    During the Reagan era, I remember a fire power demonstration at Ft Hood TX. It was either a Division or Corps battle run. I’m sure even in those days it had liberal/communist crapping their pants. A parade? I don’t know.But it would still draw ire from the left.

    • Dinotanker says:

      Dustoff! That’s a killer idea! Fire power demonstrations are cool as hell.

      Probably the one I remember most vividly was at Fort Lewis; 155 SP, 105 Towed, 4.2inch mortars, Cobras doing gun and rocket runs, but what I remember the most was there was an 8.0 inch howitzer battery involved. LOTS OF AWESOME FARKING KABOOMS going on.

      As always I have to qualify my statements, the above makes me seem an arty guy. NOT SO. Treadhead here. At Fort Lewis you could only fire the 105mm on your tank at ONE range, the firing points were constructed such that you couldn’t elevate your gun to high, something about the citizens of Yelm and such not wanting to dodge direct fire. We had to go Yakima Firing Center (I know now its called a Training Center) for qualification.

  32. Just An Old Dog says:

    I absolutely hated dog and pony shows. The idea of an American President having a parade on call for his pleasure just sounds insane.
    We simply aren’t a country that trots out its military for viewing pleasure (or intimidation).
    The next thing you know Trump will be wanting to wear his old military school uniform and start gesturing wildly when he talks

  33. old98z says:

    No retirement parade for me because I just didn’t have the heart to drag any out to the parade field one more time than necessary.

    If I ever locked elbows to do a ‘ten person wheel turn’ again …

    and Mr. Chip, I really correct a post, but at best this is / forced non-morale.
    Cog and pony shows were always the worst.
    Can anyone here just the waste that goes into change of command of command or retirement ceremonies? /rhetorical

    My favorite retirement was an old Vietnam vet platoon sergeant I met in 1974. He opted to have me as a witness – after receiving his retirement documents and flag in the CO’s office he said – ‘let me slip int something more comfortable” – went int the CO’s office latrine; dropped his uniform and walked out in a polo shirt and chinos. Never to be seen again.

  34. old98z says:

    either I screwed up or made the banned list. If there ends up to be a double post, apologies…

    • old98z says:

      Once a week the last 15 minutes of company pt was D & C practice, at the squad, platoon and company levels throughout the month.
      During the monthly BN runs every soldier was subject to a turn with the guidon.
      One a year the there was a Division formation and the battalions were released to ‘fun’ days.
      That was enough.

  35. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    A parade for the troops?

    Free beer at the on-base clubs, and parade every available stripper through the clubs.

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