Defense officials announced on Friday that National Guard troops who deployed to Washington D.C. to provide security will be awarded service ribbons for their efforts.
Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a spokesman for the Virginia Air National Guard and director of Joint Task Force-DC Joint Information Center, announced the establishment of the “Presidential Inauguration Support Ribbon” and “District of Columbia Emergency Service Ribbon” on Friday. He explained that the tens of thousands of troops who deployed to the nation’s capital will be eligible to receive one of the ribbons in recognition of their service during a difficult time for the nation.
“In recognition of their service as part of the security mission at the U.S. Capitol and other facilities in Washington, D.C., before, during and after the 59th Presidential Inauguration, the District of Columbia National Guard plans to present all Soldiers and Airmen who took part in the mission one or both of the following decorations: the District of Columbia National Guard Presidential Inauguration Support Ribbon and/or the District of Columbia Emergency Service Ribbon,” Carver said in a statement.
“Both ribbons are District-level decorations. Plans for their presentation are not yet final. Other federal decorations are also being considered.”
As journalist and editor Hope Seck pointed out for Military.com, the National Guard already has the Emergency Service Ribbon meant to recognize service in non-war emergencies and periods of crisis. These new awards, however, offer more specific recognition.
National Guard troops are authorized to wear both federal and state-level awards, though often separately, and it has not yet been announced if there will be any federal-level awards unveiled for this unusual deployment.
A total of nearly 26,000 National Guard troops participated in President Joe Biden’s inauguration, including troops from all 50 states. Most of those troops have since returned home, but some 5,000 have remained in D.C. on orders that extend for a few more weeks.