“I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.”

by Prince Of Petworth January 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm 16 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Josh

Thanks to a reader for sending from the Washington Post:

“The U.S. Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration said Friday he has been ordered removed from command effective Jan. 20, 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.”

Read the full story here.

Statement from Councilmember Charles Allen:

“On Friday morning, we learned that Major General Errol R. Schwartz will be removed as head of the D.C. National Guard in the middle of Inauguration Day at 12:01 p.m. Major General Schwartz is responsible for the operational readiness of the D.C. National Guard and has spent months planning for Inauguration Day.

“I struggle to understand the benefit of removing a commanding officer while his troops are deployed throughout the District protecting the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors. This serves only as a distraction to the men and women of the D.C. National Guard as they ramp up their preparations for the Inauguration,” said Councilmember Charles Allen.

In addition to their Inauguration Day deployment, the D.C. National Guard is also tasked to provide additional assistance, if necessary, for the Women’s March on Washington the following day which is anticipated to draw record crowds according to District officials.

Major General Schwartz enlisted in the D.C. National Guard in 1976 and in his four decades of service, has received numerous awards and accolades including the Legion of Merit, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Service Medal.

“I want to thank Major General Schwartz for his service to the District and to our country. Along with DC HSEMA, MPD and other agencies, I know the D.C. National Guard will do an excellent job and ensure the public’s safety during the Inaugural events,” said Allen.”

  • Blithe

    I read this earlier, and, for me, it’s one more piece of information that’s feeding my concerns about what this particular inauguration will be like. I’m now almost sure that I won’t be attending the women’s march.

    • SF

      Don’t let them intimidate you.

      • Blithe

        While I appreciate your encouragement, I’d appreciate it even more if it came with some practical advice. I don’t run fast, and, at the moment, I can’t run at all. In the event of serious unrest, what suggestions do you have for avoiding the fray? FWIW, I’m not unfamiliar with tear gas, demonstrations that have been deemed “riots”, or police officers who have been less than friendly.

        • melissa

          I can’t go, either. I have a neurological disorder that I didn’t have last time I attended a protest. A lot of people have good reasons to stay home. If I thought people would hold hands and sing, I’d probably go.

          You can make phone calls to protest specific things. Not everyone needs to register their protest in person.

  • Paulsdaughter

    Let’s hope this was a transition team administrative error coming from the mindless and vengeful rubberstamp removal of past presidential appointees instead of making thoughtful choices about governing vs something more nefarious. Either way, seems risky.

    • JoDa

      It sounds like from the articles so far, this guy was appointed by Bush II and kept by Obama, so not a particularly political position, even if it is *technically* an appointee. I share your hope that this is a “we don’t know what we’re doing so fire everyone classified as an appointee immediately,” though even that is a depressing thought.

      • textdoc


  • Rick – DC

    Political appointees nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate are requested by an outgoing President to submit their resignations to the outgoing President. All other political appointees are requested by the lead outgoing political official of their agency (ie, a Cabinet Secretary) to submit their resignations to that official. The President or the lead official do not have to accept the resignations. In addition, incoming political officials (often through the transition teams) can request that such resignations not be accepted by the outgoing political officials and, therefor, be delayed.

    Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz would have been requested to resign by an outgoing Obama official. If he is departing exactly at 12:01pm, then it is that official who made the decision.

    • ah

      Right, but it also means that no one on the transition team flagged Schwartz as someone whose resignation should not be accepted, at least immediately.

  • facts

    With the current state of “journalism” it’s really hard to know what’s going on here.
    Trump can’t fire anyone; he’s not president yet. And the Post didn’t confirm who issued this order or what the intent of it was, so we really have no idea what’s happening. Google only brings up people citing the incomplete Post article. Possibilities range from trivial to horrifying:
    * Administrative triviality where he was asked by Obama to “resign” and Trump expected to reject the resignation. This was all just a minor matter of procedure being misunderstood by outsiders / spun by people with political agendas.
    * Obama told him to resign to spite Trump. Seems implausible but it’s possible.
    * Obama or someone else in his administration made an error and included his name in the list of appointees like ambassadors who are being asked to resign.
    * Trump team made an error and included him on the list to resign
    * And, the horrifying one – Trump requested this because he wants to install someone who will crack down hard on the rioting that’s sadly quite likely on inauguration day and beyond. If there are riots, it will be very very important for Trump’s image to show strength and crack down hard.
    * And a slightly more horrifying extension of that last one; that this is all part of a plan to insert provocateurs in the “woman’s march” who will incite violence, giving Trump an excuse to crack down and demonstrating in a made-for-TV moment that he is a strong leader who is taking control of Washington after eight years of weakness from Obama.

    • Julia Juu

      Lets just hope everyone is peaceful. Everyone should be able to act like adults and listen to each other without having to get physical. Liberals should be heard just like Conservatives should be heard. DC is an evolving city, so I expect for more Republicans and/or Conservatives to move to DC. I’m sick of the division in this country.

    • Blithe

      I was dismayed by the lack of clarifying, supporting information. My guess was that this was part of a blanket set of requested resignations. My hope is that whoever requested them has a plan for immediate coverage. My fear is somewhere close to your last two horrifying points. My hope is that a few weeks from now, I’ll be chiding myself for my paranoia.

      • facts

        likewise. Hopefully this is all ridiculous paranoia and trump is going to turn out to be a mediocre, corrupt, but ultimately inconsequential blip in history.

        • Blithe

          Yes, this! +1 And if he actually does come up with a health care plan that’s better and cheaper than ACA, I will consider that a major, major bonus.

    • louc

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. My SO was in the Clinton administration and we’ve gone through transition. Everyone politically appointed automatically turns in their resignation. It’s the incoming President’s transition team who makes the decision on whether to let someone remain on the job, not the outgoing president. For instance, my SO was asked by the Bush transition team to stay an extra month.

      Trump’s people also fired the announcer for the inauguration. It’s clearly wholesale ANYONE appointed by Obama is out, whether or not the appointment was nonpolitical or the person’s history..

  • mk32

    IT doesn’t sound like this Trump at all really. From the Post story:

    “A person close to the transition said transition officials wanted to keep Schwartz in the job for continuity, but the Army pushed to replace him. “


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