National Guard troops to receive ribbons for protecting nation’s capital
By CAITLIN M. KENNEY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 5, 2021
WASHINGTON — National Guard troops who deployed to the nation’s capital to provide security following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building will be awarded local service ribbons, a defense official said Friday.
The District of Columbia National Guard plans to award at least one of two ribbons to all soldiers and airmen who supported the security mission before, during and after the 59th presidential inauguration in recognition of their service, Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Carver, the spokesman for the Virginia Air National Guard and the director of the Joint Task Force- District of Columbia’s Joint Information Center, said in a statement.
More than 26,000 National Guard members from all 50 states, D.C., and three territories were deployed ahead of the inauguration to support local and federal law enforcement agencies following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Since the inauguration, most of the troops have returned home. As of Tuesday, 5,214 remain in Washington, according to the Pentagon. While the mission was expected to end March 12, the U.S. Capitol Police have requested the Defense Department extend the deployment for two months.
The two ribbons that National Guard troops could receive are the District of Columbia National Guard Presidential Inauguration Support Ribbon or the District of Columbia Emergency Service Ribbon, according to Carver. The inauguration ribbon is also a new decoration, he said.
The ribbons have stripes of red, white, and blue, and the presidential inauguration ribbon includes the three red stars in its center.
Carver could not provide details on the exact dates of eligibility for the ribbons, but he said the understanding is Guard members who were deployed to Washington from Jan. 6 to now are eligible.
The ribbons are district-level decorations and also being considered are federal-level decorations, he said. There are no final plans for when the ribbons will be presented.