House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped Major General William J. Walker to be the next House sergeant-at-arms, the chief law enforcement and protocol officer for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Walker is currently the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard. If confirmed by a majority of the House, he’ll be the first Black sergeant-at-arms. His selection was first reported by the Washington Post.
“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.”
The sergeant at arms position is currently occupied by Timothy Blodgett, who has been serving on an interim basis after former Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving resigned after coming under scrutiny following the attack on the Capitol on January 6. The House sergeant-at-arms is responsible for keeping order on the House side of the Capitol.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement that he supports Walker’s selection.
“To help ensure we can keep a secure posture while also maintaining readiness to respond to future potential threats, we need an experienced Sergeant at Arms who will be committed to protecting the People’s House. After getting an opportunity to speak with Major General William Walker personally at the Speaker’s request, I am confident he possesses the experience, skill set, and vision needed to run the expansive responsibilities of the Office of the Sergeant at Arms,” McCarthy said.
Walker is a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who rose to be the deputy assistant administrator for strategic warning. He has 39 years of military experience and attended the University of Illinois for his undergratuat degree, and Chicago State University, the National Intelligence University and American University for his master’s work.
Earlier this month, he told a Senate committee that the Pentagon had taken more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the U.S. Capitol, despite a request for reinforcement from Capitol Police. He claimed it took three hours and 19 minutes for approval to arrive, as the Capitol was under assault.