News: Senate Sergeant at Arms honors the fallen
Story by Cory Hancock
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. - The Honorable Terrance W. Gainer, the 38th Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate, laid a wreath with Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington commanding general, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during an Army Full Honors Wreath Laying Ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, April 18, 2014.
The wreath laying was part of an ongoing engagement program between JFHQ-NCR/MDW and its interagency partners. Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is an honor usually bestowed upon military personnel and visiting foreign dignitaries.
“Participating in today’s wreath laying is humbling. In some small measure it allowed me to join in the recognition of those valiant men and woman who served this great Nation, many of whom gave their last full measure of devotion,” said Gainer. “Friends and relatives most of whom are former military, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, court officials and medical professionals traveled across the county to give witness to the ceremony today. They are participating in their hearts and understand the heavy responsibility of duty, honor and country.”
The sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper is elected by members of Congress and serves as the protocol and chief law enforcement officer and is the principal administrative manager for most support services in the United States Senate. The Office of the Doorkeeper was established in 1789, when the first Congress convened. It was established in order to address the single most pressing problem confronting the early Senate, the inability to keep a majority of members in the Capitol long enough to organize and being the business of government.
The sergeant-at-arms has the largest staff and budget in the Senate. As the chief law enforcement officer in the Senate, the sergeant at arms can compel senators to come to the Senate Chamber to establish a quorum. Additionally the office supervises the Senate wing of the Capitol, maintaining security in the Capitol and in all the Senate buildings and controlling access to the Senate Chamber and galleries. The sergeant at arms also protects the members and can arrest and detain any person violating Senate rules. On the orders of the Senate, the sergeant at arms can even arrest the President of the United States.
“The relationship between the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and office of the Senate sergeant-at-arms is strong, closely woven around mutual responsibilities such as inaugurations, state funerals, the annual State of the Union messages and regrettably, constant threats,” said Gainer. “Trust, collaboration and communication are essential to our ongoing success, we are partners: one team.”