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Commander Ordered to Step Down Mid-Inauguration

15 January 2017

In a freakish move, Donald Trump has demanded that the commanding officer of the Washington, D.C. National Guard resign from his post in the middle of the Inauguration ceremony, even though the general will be in the middle of helping oversee the event's security, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday morning, Schwartz said that, "The timing is extremely unusual". At the time Schwartz departs, he will be in the midst of commanding thousands of Guard troops from the District and around the country who are providing support for the inauguration.

Members of Trump's transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Later in the day, the Post updated its story to note that Schwartz, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, had twice before offered a customary letter of resignation to President Obama which was declined.

Two military officials with knowledge of the situation said the Trump team made a decision to accept the resignation.

Commander Ordered to Step Down Mid-Inauguration

Schwartz enlisted in the District of Columbia Army National Guard in 1976, according to his official bio.

"It doesn't make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment", said DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, according to the Washington Post. The idea is to allow the incoming president to keep appointees or accept the resignation and appoint his own. "He's been really very good at working with the community, and my impression was that he was good for the Guard".

The political house-cleaning is perhaps not surprising for an administration that plans to use the inauguration to say, "Let me get back to work", as inauguration planner Tom Barrack told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "I'm a presidential appointee".

"Some administrations have left people a little longer if they didn't have a successor right away or the kids were in school or something, for family and human reasons", Neumann said, "but there's no requirement that they do so".

Schwartz has been in command of the DC Army and Air National Guard since 2008, where he has been responsible for approximately 2,700 soldiers and airmen. He has served in many leadership positions, including as commander of the 372nd Military Police Battalion, and later the 74th Troop Command.

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Commander Ordered to Step Down Mid-Inauguration