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Pelosi Appoints First Black Sergeant-at-Arms

March 26, 2021 by TWN Staff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Friday appointed Gen. William J. Walker, currently commander of the D.C. National Guard, to serve as the next House Sergeant-at-Arms, making him the first African American to hold the position.

He replaces Paul D. Irving, the former Sergeant-at-Arms, who resigned one day after the pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6., and Timothy Blodgett, who has been sserving as acting sergeant-at-arms since then.

Since the earliest days of our Founding, the Sergeant-at-Arms has been tasked with the essential responsibility of securing the People’s House and ensuring that it can continue to perform its solemn Constitutional duty: to serve the American people and advance our democracy,” Pelosi said.

“Throughout his long, dedicated career in public service, General William Walker has proven to be a leader of great integrity and experience who will bring his steady and patriotic leadership to this vital role,” she added. 

Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., chair of the Committee on House Administration, said Friday that she was pleased with Walker’s selection.

“His impressive credentials include 30 years of parallel service in the District of Columbia National Guard, culminating as the 23rd Commanding General of the Guard, and as a Special Agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in positions of increasing responsibility,” she said. “His experience led him to be recommended by General Honoré who was charged with reviewing January 6. The responsibility of ensuring the security of the House of Representatives and examining our security apparatus moving forward is important, and I look forward to working with him.

“I am also thrilled General Walker’s nomination makes history,” Lofgren added. “Not only is General Walker immensely qualified, but the Speaker’s selection of a person of color to carry out this position of great importance is an historic first in either chamber of Congress. I look forward to collaborating with General Walker as we work to provide the level of security necessary to protect the House.”

As the 23rd Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard, General Walker has been responsible for the strategic leadership, training, readiness, operational employment and performance of the Army and Air Force components of the command.  

Walker oversaw the 113th Wing, F-16 Fighting Falcon, which secures the skies over the Nation’s Capital, and C-40 Clipper that transports members of Congress and other dignitaries. 

As Chairman of the National Guard Bureau’s Joint Diversity Executive Council, Walker improved joint force readiness by leveraging diversity and inclusion best practices to develop, and provide recommendations to National Guard senior leaders. 

For 30 years, General Walker simultaneously served as a National Guardsmen and Special Agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

 Promoted to the Senior Executive Service rank in 2003 and appointed a U.S. Intelligence Community, Senior Intelligence Officer in 2009, his final position was Deputy Assistant Administrator for Strategic Warning at DEA Headquarters.  

Walker was educated at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Chicago State University, the National Intelligence University and American University.

“His historic appointment as the first Black American to serve as Sergeant-at-Arms is an important step forward for this institution and our nation,” Pelosi said. 

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