For the last 40 years, the Pentagon has seen each president out the door with a farewell tribute. In 2017 that included a salute from a military band, a review of troops, and a long line of military leaders stepping forward to praise President Obama. They thanked Obama for the care he had demonstrated for the troops, for his strategic thinking, and for his work with NATO and other allied military organizations. Pentagon leaders also surprised Obama by awarding him the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service … which had the added bonus of pissing off Sarah Palin.
But Palin and the rest of right-wing media won’t have to worry about any inappropriate medals being handed out in 2021. Because for the first time since Ronald Reagan took office, the Pentagon is skipping the whole thing. Donald Trump is not getting a military farewell ceremony.
As Defense One reports, Vice President Mike Pence is off deliver weekend remarks to a group of sailors at a Naval Air Station, then he will drop by Fort Drum to extol all the achievements of the last four years to a group of soldiers. And that’s it.
… no military farewell is being planned for the commander in chief.
It’s not clear if this no-ceremony is not being held by the Pentagon’s request or whether Trump has put the military on his hate list for failing to fly in and fight on the side of insurrectionists. In past years the ceremony has been held ahead of the date on which Trump’s beloved “very special” people stormed the Capitol, so it may just be that Trump was too caught up in coup planning to get around to this event. After all, what’s the point of scribbling down a farewell address if you’re never planning to say farewell?
Whatever the reason, troops will be relieved of having to stand to attention one last time for Trump. Which doesn’t mean that they can’t get together for an impromptu Good Riddance celebration.