Pentagon weighing options for US military parade after Trump's 'marching order', says Jim Mattis

Reuters |   Feb 08,2018 , 03:39 PM IST

Pentagon weighing options for US military parade after Trump's 'marching order', says Jim Mattis
Pentagon weighing options for US military parade after Trump's 'marching order', says Jim Mattis

The US Defense Department is exploring potential proposals for a military parade to honour US service members, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday.

"We're all aware in this country of the president's affection and respect for the military. We've been putting together some options. We'll send them up to the White House for a decision," Mattis told reporters at a White House briefing.

Earlier, Trump ordered Pentagon and White House officials to begin planning a military parade in Washington similar to the Bastille Day parade he witnessed in Paris in July, according to the Washington Post report on Tuesday.

At a meeting at the Pentagon on January 18 that included Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford, Trump said he wanted a military parade, the Post reported, citing a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," the military official said, according to the Post. "This is being worked at the highest levels of the military," the official added.

After the Post published its story, the White House issued a statement that said Trump "has asked the US Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation."

Trump has said he was impressed by the military parade he watched in Paris on July 14 US and French soldiers marched together to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War One and France's annual Bastille Day holiday. It included tanks, armoured vehicles and a flyover of US and French military jets.

"To a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue," Trump told reporters in September. "We're actually looking into it."

The US capital has held large military displays to mark significant occasions, including victories in war, but rolling tanks and marching troops down Pennsylvania Avenue are not typically done on the US Independence Day holiday.