One of the key safety planners for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration will be removed from his duties as head of the D.C. National Guard in the middle of Inauguration Day, at 12:01 p.m.
Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, who is responsible for the operational readiness of the D.C. National Guard, has spent months planning for Inauguration Day, according to D.C. Council member Charles Allen, who lambasted the move as a “distraction.”
“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,” Allen said. “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.”
In addition to their Inauguration Day deployment, the D.C. National Guard has also been tasked with provide additional assistance, if necessary, for the Women’s March on Washington the following day, which is anticipated to draw record crowds to the city.
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,” Allen said. “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.”