House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped Major General William Walker, the head of District of Columbia National Guard, as the next House sergeant-at-arms, making him the first Black American to hold the post.
For the first time in a long time, the House’s security will now be led by someone with a military background. The Senate also chose a former military leader, retired Lt., Gen. Karen Gibson, as its sergeant at arms.
Walker led the Army and Air Force components of D.C. National Guard, as indicated in his official biography. Walker was responsible for ensuring units are “manned, trained, equipped and ready for war and any national emergency.”
“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,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“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.”
For 30 years, Walker served as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration and simultaneously a member of the National Guard.
“His experience will be an important asset to the House, particularly in light of the January 6 insurrection. It is essential that we work to strengthen our institution and keep our Capitol community, and all who visit, safe,” Pelosi added.
House Leader Kevin McCarthy also praised the selection in a statement. “I am confident he possesses the experience, skillset, and vision needed to run the expansive responsibilities of the Office of the Sergeant at Arms,” he said.