President Donald Trump demanded a military parade as part of his inauguration but it never came to fruition. Now he’s demanding the Pentagon make it happen, but a retired admiral and general think it’s all about the president’s ego.
“I don’t like it, not at all,” said retired Rear Adm. John Kirby on CNN. “This is not about showcasing our military. This is about the president showing off. This is all about his ego.”
Kirby went on to explain that a military parade for Trump is “an inappropriate use of time, talent and resources” at a time that the United States government is strapped for funding and budgets are being slashed.
“The second thing is this is beneath us as a nation,” he continued. “We are the most powerful military on earth. We don’t need to be parading our military hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue to show that to anybody. Thirdly, I think it is a waste of resources. Millions of dollars could be put to other better uses: operations, training, not to mention just taking care of our people. Spouse education programs, that kind of thing. I think this is just a tremendously bad idea.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling couldn’t agree more. During the first Iraq War, former President George H. W. Bush held a parade in celebration to an “unofficial end” to the war. Hertling was ironically still on the ground fighting in Iraq at the time.
He said that a soldier told him about the parade and said “I would rather be in combat than marching down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
His Twitter survey yielded about 100 responses from soldiers who all agreed that they “don’t want any part of these kinds of parades.”
“The reason for it, John [Kirby] is exactly right, there are resource issues, implications for logistics,” Hertling said. “It would be extremely expensive. It would tear up the streets. You could get past all of those arguments and just say one thing: It’s not who we are as a military.”
He explained that the United States military has a different kind of culture that doesn’t strut.
“We do not portray ourselves walking down the streets,” he explained. “Instead, we do the parades on Main Street in the middle of Idaho during the Fourth of July with flags taped to kids’s handlebars. That’s the kind of parades we have. We don’t have to portray military might because the world knows how strong we are. It is not part of our culture. It hasn’t been since the military was founded in the 1700s.”
Kirby said that the plans will be interesting to see if they try and walk it back.
“I think the military leaders at the Pentagon are trying to think how they can scope this in such a way that it isn’t a waste of resources and being a little too grandiose for our boots.
Cuomo cited a friend of his who is in the Army who said that the U.S. military is “all go, no show” in how they see themselves.