The review, which is considered standard procedure after all significant operations, will be led by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and will specifically evaluate National Guard’s work on federal and local law enforcement in recent weeks, according to a Pentagon news release. The evaluation will address a range of issues including training, organization and deployment of National Guard forces.
“In recent weeks, the National Guard has acted professionally and capable of supporting law enforcement in cities across the United States,” Esper said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for and am deeply proud of our soldiers and airmen who served during this period to ensure that peaceful protesters could carry out their First Amendment rights and that they and others would not suffer violence against themselves and their property.”
“I have full confidence in Secretary of Army McCarthy to lead a robust review,” he continued. The report’s results are expected to be submitted to Esper by the end of July, the Pentagon said.
Speaking from the White House’s rose garden earlier this month, President Donald Trump said “we are ending the riots and legality that has spread throughout our country”, adding that he strongly recommended the governors deploy national guard to “dominate the streets.”
A group of service members holding civilian jobs and training part-time, National Guard troops are usually deployed in their home states by governors or the federal government, which determines the length of each mission.
They can carry out law enforcement actions under the command of state governors, unlike the active military who are prohibited by law from doing so unless the president invokes the law of rebellion.
But there is discomfort with the civilian ordering task among some national security forces.
“I believe that in America we should not get used to or accept uniformed service members of any kind who must be put in a position where they must secure people in the United States,” Army Major General Thomas Carden, Attorney General of the Georgia National Guard, told reporters last month.
He added that “while we are happy to do it and honored to do so, this is a sign of the times we must do better as a country.”
CNN’s Scottie Andrew contributed to this report.