News: Army Maj. plays key role in 57th Presidential Inauguration planning
Story by Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth
WASHINGTON – For many service members, serving in any capacity during a presidential inauguration is an opportunity that may only come once during their career. For U.S. Army Maj. Clarisse Scott, originally from Elliott, S.C., that opportunity has become a reality.
"This is my first ever, inauguration,” Scott said, who serves as Joint Task Force – National Capital Region joint team parade officer in charge during the inauguration. “It's a privilege to perform these duties for such a historical event.”
Supporting the commander-in-chief on inauguration day is something that she will never forget and always be able to share with her family and friends, continued Scott.
Scott is one of more than 70 soldiers from the 53rd Transportation Battalion, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., tasked to support the Presidential Inauguration scheduled for Jan. 21, 2013.
"Our mission is to plan, coordinate, and synchronize the inaugural parade in support of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, to honor our commander-in-chief," Scott said.
Scott's office ensures that everyone participating in the inauguration parade is processed through the various staging and assembly points and end up in the proper location to walk down parade route on Inauguration Day.
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, an expected 5,000 service members will be participating in ceremonial roles, both in the public eye and behind the scenes.
"When my team and I arrived in August we just jumped in and started planning by going through all the data that was provided from past inaugurations," Scott said. “I've been able to put the training I received overseas to coordinate large scale operations to good use planning this inaugural parade.”
“We are expecting close to 10,000 individuals in this year’s inaugural parade, 1,500 of which will be marching military personnel,” said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, JTF – NCR commanding general.
Though the crowds aren’t expected to be the record-breaking numbers of 2009, officials say more than a million people will be gathered along the parade route from the White House to the Capitol Building.
"It's going to be amazing seeing the parade all come together on inauguration day," said Scott. “It’s going to make all the hard work my team put in worth it.”