Gen. Mark Milley, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Army, said Tuesday the government "should seriously consider" allowing soldiers at recruiting stations to be armed on the job.
According to a Defense One report,
Milley — who currently leads the Army Forces Command — spoke Tuesday about his thoughts on the subject.
"I think under certain conditions, both on military bases and in out stations — recruiting stations, reserve centers — that we should seriously consider it," Milley said during his Senate confirmation hearing. "In some cases, I think it's appropriate."
A gunman shot at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tenn. last week before driving to a nearby Navy Operational Support Center, where he shot and killed four Marines and one Navy sailor.
Current policy does not allow soldiers at recruiting centers to be armed, and only on-duty MPs are allowed to carry weapons on bases. After the Chattanooga shooting, however, there have been several calls to change the rules.
Current Army chief of staff Gen. Raymond Odierno – the man who Milley would replace if he is confirmed — told Fox News
the Army is considering allowing recruiters to carry weapons.
"When it comes to recruiting stations, we are looking at it now — what are we doing now to best protect them," Odierno said. "We will look at every avenue — arming them, there is some authority issues with that so we have to look all the way through that."
Odierno did, however, say he has "a problem with" soldiers at "all installations" being armed.
Milley told lawmakers Tuesday the military could also adopt other defensive measures to protect its recruiting stations, such as installing bulletproof glass.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, is the alleged shooter in last Thursday's attack. He died in a shootout with police after he shot several people at the Navy Operational Support Center.
Despite the current laws that ban most soldiers from carrying weapons on bases, a report came out Tuesday that Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White returned fire
at Abdulazeez with his personal firearm during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center. One of the Marines killed may have also been carrying a weapon and used it against Abdulazeez before he died.
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