'Relax and speak to America': US soldiers in Trump's military parade are handed instructions on what not to say

troops us osan koreaU.S. troops respond as President Donald Trump arrives at Osan Air Base in South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019.Susan Walsh/AP

  • US Army soldiers volunteering - or possibly being "voluntold" - for President Donald Trump's "Salute to America" Fourth of July parade in Washington, DC, were handed motivating instructions on what to say if approached by the media.
  • "I am proud to serve this Nation and I am proud to be a Service Member," an instructional card obtained by Mother Jones said.
  • This sort of public affairs training for US troops is not entirely unique. US troops occasionally undergo public affairs training - particularly before high-profile events - in addition to their individual occupational training.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

US Army soldiers volunteering - or possibly being "voluntold" - for President Donald Trump's "Salute to America" Fourth of July parade in Washington, DC, were handed motivating instructions on what to say if approached by the media.

"I am proud to serve this Nation, and I am proud to be a Service Member," an instructional card obtained by Mother Jones said.

"I am proud of my job and my vehicle/tank," it added. "I am glad to share my experience with the American People."

The instructions appeared to be issued by Joint Task Force National Capital Region, which is headquartered at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC, and is tasked with defending the capital and its surrounding areas.

In addition to providing command messages to the soldiers, the instructions also warn that they "are always a representative for the US Army."

"Keep this in mind during all interactions, in or out of uniform," the card said, adding that soldiers should avoid using "acronyms or jargon" and to "relax and speak to America."

Read more: Trump's military parade will reportedly divert $2.5 million away from national parks

This sort of public affairs training for US troops is not entirely unique. US troops occasionally undergo public affairs training - particularly before high-profile events - in addition to their individual occupational training.

Military units have also implemented media relations training as a precaution (due to actual unflattering moments, or ones that have been dramatically portrayed in movies). In addition to the public relations mishaps, the military has come under intense scrutiny due to worries about the armed forces becoming politicized.

At least 300 troops are scheduled to be part of the parade, down from an estimated 1,000 troops, and the event is expected to showcase fighter jet flyovers, tanks, and armored fighting vehicles, according to several news reports.

Some of the participating military units had trouble scrounging enough service members to participate, due to the late notice during the holiday week, according to The New York Times.

"Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big," Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "It will be the show of a lifetime!"

It would not the first time US troops and armored vehicles have rolled through Washington, DC. A National Victory Celebration event that included fighter jets and armored vehicles was held in the capitol following Operation Desert Storm in June 1991. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy all touted the country's military forces in grand parades during their inaugurations.

{{}}
Subscribe to whatsappSubscribe to whatsapp
Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.