WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is already in the initial planning stages for a military parade to satisfy a request from President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis revealed Wednesday.
"We've been putting together some options and we'll send them to the White House," Mattis told reporters at Wednesday's White House briefing.
Pentagon officials tell CBN News the US Army has been tapped to lead the planning, adding that the goal is to tie the parade to a significant, historical event.
"All options are being considered, including linking the parade to a significant event, perhaps a historical event," said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.
One possibility would be to stage the parade on Veteran's Day in November, which would coincide with the centennial of the end of World War I.
Manning said no decisions have been made about when, where or who would take part in the parade.
The president was inspired by the Bastille Day parade in Paris, which he witnessed as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron in July.
The news shocked some military observers, who noted that money is tight.
John Kirby, a retired Navy rear admiral and former spokesman for the State Department and the Pentagon, reposted on Twitter an article he wrote for CNN last year:
"First of all, the United States doesn't need a parade down Pennsylvania or any other avenue to show our military strength," he wrote. "We do that every day in virtually every clime all over the world."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also weighed in, tweeting, "My hope is this parade will not focus on military hardware, but on military service, sacrifice, and saying 'Thank You" to those who protect our nation."
While traveling in Thailand, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford gave a muted response Wednesday when asked by the Wall Street Journal to react to the directive.
Dunford told the Journal, "I'm aware of the president's request and we are in the initial planning stages to meet the president's direction."