WASHINGTON – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Milley said that some soldiers deployed to Washington, D.C. to possibly assist in thwarting Black Lives Matter protests were issued bayonets, USA TODAY has confirmed.
On June 2, during their deployment, the service members were issued bayonets but were instructed to keep them in their “scabbards and not fixed to weapons,” Milley told two U.S. Congressmen in a letter.
Gen Milley said that the order to mobilize the service members came from Army Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, who serves as commander of the military district of Washington.
Members of neither the 82nd Airborne Division nor The Old Guard were never sent into the city to respond to protests. Members of the 82nd Airborne Division were sent back two days after their arrival.
Milley’s letter, dated June 26, was sent to Democratic Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Rep. Ted Lieu of California, who demanded an explanation after the Associated Press first reported on the use of bayonets on June 2.
The AP has also reported an unclassified military document detailing some of the soldiers were not trained in riot response, and commanders had planned to train them within 96 hours of arriving at the nation’s capital. Read more