Officers Vie to Escort VIPs for Inauguration
With all the VIPs expected to attend the inauguration, the competition is on to find military escorts for them, reports the Post's Michael E. Ruane.
Ruane writes: It is a once-in-a-lifetime, much-sought-after job, interviewers said, especially this time, for the installation of Obama, the country's first black president. And all of the candidates were excellent, they said.
But only "the best of the best" make the list being submitted for final selection to the committee brass, officials said. The escorts must be requested by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which determines the size and nature of the inauguration.
The main job for an MA is getting his or her "package" to events on time: to ceremonies, prayer services, the swearing-in, the parade, luncheons, balls. Timing is critical, and failure is "not an option," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Arthur C. Fong, the first- and second-family military assistant coordinator.
Each MA will have a car and a driver, who for this inauguration will have a cellphone with a global positioning satellite device allowing the car to be tracked at a command center downtown during the inauguration, Fong said.
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