Big role for the military in Obama’s second inauguration festivities

Members of the Army Band stand in front of the Presidential Reviewing Stand in front of the White House during a rehearsal Jan. 13, 2013. Members of the Army Band stand in front of the Presidential Reviewing Stand in front of the White House during a rehearsal Jan. 13, 2013. Charles Dharapak/AP

Plans for Obama’s second inaugural show ceremonial nods to the nation’s civil rights heritage and the growing visibility of Hispanic Americans. But no group will occupy more center-stage at the four-day event than the military.

At a press conference Wednesday, key planners described the special roles that military men and women will play for pageantry, security and their own enjoyment.

For Saturday night’s Kids’ Inaugural Concert at the Washington Convention Center, children of military families have been given half the tickets (the rest go to children of District of Columbia Public Schools). That event follows a National Day of Service on the Mall.

On Sunday, the Constitution's Inauguration Day, on which Obama will be sworn in privately at the White House by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, the First Family will attend a small ceremony for fallen military at Arlington Cemetery.

On Monday, President Obama will publicly take the oath of office, give his address and enjoy a bipartisan luncheon in the Capitol. He will then be greeted by a “pass and review” by Maj. Gen. Michael Liddington, commander of the Joint Task Force for the National Capital Region, along with a 380 troops, according to Army Col. Michelle L. Roberts. An escort of 2,300 military personnel -- including each service’s honor guard -- will accompany the two-to-three hour inaugural parade in the afternoon. They’ve been training for months, along with the Capital Police, the Metropolitan Police, the Secret Service and other public safety agencies.

Parade participants will prepare at the Pentagon, and another cordon of 1,500 service members will follow the route as ushers and assistants. The total 10,000 participants-- including 58 vehicles and floats representing everything from the Virginia Military Institute to the Maine-based Gym Dandy unicyclists—will include divisions led by the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and a combination of Coast Guard and Merchant Marine.

On Monday night, one of the two official inaugural balls is the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball, hosting primarily military guests and their families. That tradition was started under President George W. Bush.According to Brent Coburn, communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Obama’s 2013 version will be twice the size of previous ones.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.