Marines will not arm recruiters after Chattanooga shooting attack
The Marine Corps Times reports that U.S. Marine officials have ruled out arming recruiters following this summer's deadly shooting rampage in Chattanooga that killed five service members.
Other security measures to better protect troops are in the works, the head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command told the Marine Corps Times.
A gunman opened fire on the Chattanooga Armed Forces recruiting office and a Navy Reserve center on July 16, some politicians were quick to call for military recruiters to be armed.
But none of the military services are interested in arming recruiters, said Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, MCRC's commanding general, during a Tuesday interview with the Marine Corps Times in Quantico, VA.
"The arming piece is one of those things on the recruiting side that myself and [Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford] still have great concerns over," he said. "All the services … said they don't want to arm their folks."
“Whichever way you stand on the Second Amendment, recruiters showing up armed is not going to make either educators or parents comfortable,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command
The Marine Corps has worked hard to build strong relationships with members of the communities in which they recruit, Brilakis said. That isn't something leaders want to jeopardize.
"Whichever way you stand on the Second Amendment, recruiters showing up armed is not going to make either educators or parents comfortable."
The USMC will use security measures that will allow Marines to take cover or evacuate in the event of an attack, he said. Changes under consideration include more security cameras, remote-locking doors, and better ballistic protection, such as movable shields or desk partitions that could protect troops from bullets.
Marines will also continue conducting security training, Brilakis said, which proved vital to those involved in the attack on the Chattanooga facility. Anything that puts space between Marines and an attacker allows them to execute their immediate action drills.
Brilakis held the quick reaction of Marines at the Chattanooga recruiting station as an example of the sort of training Marines already have that could be augmented to keep bad situations from turning worse.
"Marines in Chattanooga got out of that recruiting station in less than a minute," he said. "And they did so because, one, they were trained, and two, they sat down and talked about it before. Every one of those Marines had been trained or had a conversation once they got to the recruiting substation about what happens in the event of 'X' — and when 'X' happened, they all executed perfectly."
Read more at the Marine Corps Times website.