News: Lt. Col. Mary Harp joins Joint Task Force - National Capital Region
Story by Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth
WASHINGTON – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mary Harp, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, currently residing in Chattanooga, Tenn., joined the Joint Task Force - National Capital Region in support of the 57th Presidential Inauguration, which will take place Jan. 21, 2013.
The task force is charged with coordinating all military ceremonial support for the inaugural period. As a joint service committee, it includes members from all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including active, Reserve and National Guard components.
Harp is assigned as a inter-agency liaison for the JTF – NCR.
“It's important for the DOD to support the inauguration.” said Harp. “It is a proud tradition and a way for us to render honors to our commander in chief.”
The U.S. armed forces have participated in the inauguration of the president of the United States since April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City.
More than 220 years later, the participation of the armed forces continues to honor our commander in chief, recognize civilian control of the armed forces and celebrate democracy.
Participation by the armed forces traditionally includes musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons. Soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen also provide invaluable assistance to the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies.
The Secretary of Defense has authorized nearly 200 service members to be assigned to JTF-NCR by Inauguration Day to coordinate Department of Defense support in and around the District of Columbia. In addition to the JTF-NCR service members, historically as many as 5,000 service members have participated in the celebration, both in view of the public and behind the scenes.
Just as military men and women show their commitment to this country while deployed around the globe, participation of service members in this traditional event demonstrates our military’s support to the nation’s commander in chief.
“It is an honor to be a part of this outstanding event,” said Harp. “I’m proud to be able to support the president and represent my service.”