Mar 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi appoints first Black sergeant-at-arms

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wears a protective mask during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday appointed Gen. William J. Walker to serve as the next House sergeant-at-arms, making him the first African American to hold the position.

Why it matters: Paul D. Irving, the former sergeant-at-arms, resigned one day after the pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6.

Details: Walker is the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, where he is responsible for the strategic leadership and training of Army and Air Force guard.

  • He has 39 years of decorated military experience.
  • He also served as a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for 30 years.
  • As chair of the National Guard Bureau’s Joint Diversity Executive Council, Walker recommends best practices to diversify the National Guard's senior ranks.

What they're saying: “Throughout his long, dedicated career in public service, Gen. 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," Pelosi said.

Flashback: Timothy P. Blodgett has been serving as the acting sergeant-at-arms since Jan. 11.

Go deeper