After five servicemen were slain during a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, many citizens have taken it upon themselves to arm up and stand guard outside recruiting centers around the country, but the Army has deemed these individuals a security a risk.
The Army Command Operations Center-Security Division released a letter addressing the issue, bluntly saying that while these armed citizens may have their hearts in the right place, having unauthorized guns on site is not something they want.
“I’m sure the citizens mean well, but we cannot assume this in every case and we do not want to advocate this behavior,” the letter stated. “If questioned by these alleged concerned citizens, be polite, be professional and terminate the conversation immediately and report to the incident to local law enforcement.”
While shooing away armed citizens looking to protect potential terrorist targets may ruffle a few feathers, reporting them to local law enforcement is sure to cause a stir.
In their letter, the Army advises that armed citizens should lay down their weapons and observe and report instead of standing guard.
“Local communities can support our security by reporting suspicious activity, particularly around recruiting centers,” said Bland. “If you see something, say something.”
The U.S. Marine Corps too issued a statement expressing a similar sentiment.
“While we greatly appreciate the support of the public during this tragedy, we ask that citizens do not stand guard at our recruiting offices,” the statement read. “Our continued public trust lies among our trained first responders for the safety of the communities where we live and work.”
The various branches of the military may not want these armed citizens outside their buildings, but until they arm up their own Guardsmen, it’s unlikely they’ll just abandon their “post.”
(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers)