In the wake of the latest Islamic jihadist attack on unarmed American servicemen, six different governors have authorized their respective National Guard soldiers, to include National Guard recruiters, to carry firearms to protect themselves from another Chattanooga Massacre. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is issuing orders to U.S. Armed Forces recruiters that won’t stop bullets, but may help cut down on the air conditioning bill.
As reported by Dion Nissenbaum of The Wall Street Journal on July 20, 2015, Navy Admiral Bill Gortney, head of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has issued a directive to all State-side commands regarding site security of the hundreds of recruiting centers, reserve centers and university ROTC facilities in the United States. Described by Nissenbaum as “modest new security measures” the Admiral specified to all hands to “increase surveillance and take basic steps such as closing blinds at the offices.” As noted, USNORTHCOM oversees security for military facilities within the borders of the United States.
Captain Scott Miller, Public Affairs Officer and spokesman for U.S. Northern Command, declined to comment on the specific steps outlined by his boss. However, Capt. Miller did state the measures were meant to “increase and sustain security” and “increase vigilance and safeguarding of personnel” at the facilities.
In the meantime, NBC News reported on July 19, 2015, that six different governors have taken a much different tack than the Pentagon. As reporter Elisha Fieldstadt penned, “The governors of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Florida and Indiana have authorized the arming of full-time National Guard members to deter attacks and allow them the ability to protect themselves and civilians in case they are targeted.”
Acting on their lawful appointments as the de facto Commanders-in-Chief of their National Guards, the governors orders are widely understood as responses to the terrorist attacks perpetrated by jihadist sympathizer Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez. The terrorist gunned down five members of the Sea Services; four Marines and one sailor, all assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve artillery unit in Chattanooga, Tennessee. By Presidential executive order signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, with very few exceptions all member of the US Armed Forces are forbade from arming themselves while in an on-duty status on all military bases and posts.