House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed Major General William Walker as the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives. Walker is the commander of the DC National Guard and will be the first black man to occupy the position if the House confirms the nomination. He will be the 38th sergeant-at-arms at the House if he is finally appointed.
According to his biography with the DC National Guard, Major General Walker has served meritoriously in areas of leadership, training, readiness, operational employment, and performance in the DC National Guard’s Army and Air Force. His major handling of the January 6 pro-Trump invasion of the US Capitol is part of the consideration for his appointment as next sergeant-at-arms, Pelosi said.
The House Speaker said Walker’s experience in key strategic roles will serve the security needs of the House given the US Capitol insurrection where several lawmakers hid from attackers. She said the commander will strengthen the House and keep the Capitol community and everyone who visits the institution safe while on the grounds of the facility, CNN reports.
“It is my honor to appoint District of Columbia National Guard Major General William J. Walker to serve as the 38th Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives,” Pelosi stated. “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 went on to emphasize that Walker is a “leader of great integrity and experience” whose patriotism to the nation and the Capitol would be an immense asset. She said Walker has proven his mettle in public service and that his appointment is fundamental to the security integrity of the House.
Following the Capitol invasion, Pelosi asked Paul Irving to resign from his position as the sergeant-at-arms and Paul Blodgett has been serving as action sergeant-at-arms since that time until Walker substantially comes on board. The first black man to serve as sergeant-at-arms at the Senate from 2001 to 2003 was Alfonso Lenhardt.