National Guardsmen at the inauguration of President Donald Trump were ordered not to clap.
National Guardsmen hailing from around the country and directing the crowd in the Green Zone told Daily Caller News Foundation reporter Phillip Stucky early Friday morning that they were unsure about whether they were allowed to clap during the inauguration.
One of the guardsmen headed over to get clarification from their superior, who answered in the negative: guardsmen are in fact not allowed to clap.
The Joint Task Force-District of Columbia press team told TheDCNF that the reason the National Guardsmen were forbidden from clapping is because their primary function is to provide crowd management, not engage in the event.
“The National Guardsmen you observed have a primary task of providing crowd management in support of the Presidential Inauguration,” the press team said. “The Guardsmen were not present to be attendees or to be part of the crowd, but were there to ensure the safety and well-being of those in attendance witnessing the official transition of power.”
The JTF-DC is providing support for the inauguration events, mostly traffic control and crowd management, and has under its command 7,500 National Guard soldiers from 40 states, territories and the District of Columbia itself.
Elsewhere in the armed forces, the Marine Corps has instructed Marines and sailors not to get overly political during the inauguration.
In MARADMIN 035/17 guidance issued Tuesday, the Corps told Marines they are allowed to wear their uniforms to official government events like the wreath laying ceremony in Arlington, the welcome celebration, the swearing-in ceremony at the inauguration and the inaugural parade, among others.
But they are emphatically not allowed to speak before a partisan political gathering and may not participate in any kind of medium where they advocate for or against a political party, candidate or cause, while in uniform.
Clapping is not listed in the MARADMIN, but it may constitute the “appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement,” which is strictly forbidden at either partisan or non-partisan activities.