President Trump said Saturday the military “loves” the idea of a military parade and insisted generals “would love to do it.”
The president floated the possibility of a military parade to show the strength of the U.S. military, as well as pay tribute to service members, during a meeting at the Pentagon in January. Since then, the Army has been leading plans for a military parade, though planning is in the very early stages.
From Washington Examiner
“I think it’s great for spirit. The military loves it. They love the idea,” Trump told Fox News in an interview Saturday. “We would have West Point and Annapolis and the Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy. It would be a great representative parade. We’d have a lot of plane flyovers.”
Trump’s idea for a military parade stemmed from a Bastille Day celebration he and first lady Melania Trump attended in France last year.
Such an event in the U.S. would likely boast a price tag of between $10 million and $30 million, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers earlier this month.
Trump told Fox News he believes a military parade, which he envisions taking place down Pennsylvania Avenue, would be “great for the spirit of the country,” but said he is aware of the potential expense.
“We’ll see if we can do it at a reasonable cost. If we can’t, we won’t do it,” he said. “But the generals would love to do it, I can tell you, and so would I.”
When asked when he would like a military parade to occur, Trump said he favors Independence Day “because July Fourth in Washington, D.C., would be beautiful.” But the president acknowledged an event on Veterans Day is more likely.
Though Trump remains enthusiastic about a military parade, military leaders have been muted in their responses when asked about the possibility.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said earlier this month he was “aware of the president’s request,” and said the Defense Department is “in the initial planning stages to meet the president’s direction.”
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also said the Pentagon is “putting together some options” that will be sent to the White House.
“I think we’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” Mattis told reporters earlier this month.