The Army has been tapped to lead plans for President Trump's military parade, a Pentagon spokesman said, adding that the goal is to tie the parade to a significant, historical event.
“All options are being considered,” said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, “including linking the parade to a significant event, perhaps a historical event."
Manning confirmed the Pentagon has received guidance that President Trump would like the parade to showcase the U.S. military, and that the Army will take the lead.
One possibility would be to stage the parade on Veteran’s Day in November, which would coincide with the centennial of the end of World War I.
Manning said no decisions have been made about when, where or who would take part in the parade.
The president was inspired by the Bastille Day parade in Paris, which he witnessed as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron in July. After publicly calling for another parade in September, the issue appeared to die down, only for Trump to bring it up again with military leaders last month, the Washington Post reported.
The news shocked military observers, who questioned spending money on such an event when funding is tight.
On CNN Wednesday morning, retired Rear Adm. John Kirby suggested Pentagon planners are likely finding ways to scale back the parade or even convince the White House not to do it.
"I think the military leaders in the Pentagon are probably trying to think how they can scope this in such a way that maybe it isn't such a waste of resources, doesn't get to that point the Gen. Hertling brought up about being a little too grandiose for our boots."
While traveling in Thailand, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford gave a muted response Wednesday when asked by the Wall Street Journal to react to the directive.
"I’m aware of the president’s request and we are in the initial planning stages to meet the president’s direction," Dunford said.