Milley: We need a clear distinction between police and military

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Posted July 9, 2020 at 6:38pm

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday stressed the importance of a "visual distinction" between members of the police and the military, an issue that has surfaced anew during recent protests.

“You want a clear definition between that which is military, and that which is police in my view,” Gen. Mark Milley told the House Armed Services Committee.

He referred to camouflage uniforms giving local and state police officers the appearance of military.

“When you start introducing the military you’re talking about a different level of effort there,” continued Milley.

He spoke at a hearing that examined the Department of Defense's role in recent protests.

Milley was responding to a question on a Pentagon program created to offload surplus military equipment to the benefit of local police departments, though uniforms are not part of that program.

An issue Milley's response touched on — law enforcement or military members at the protests whose attire left unclear what organization they were with — was also discussed at the hearing.

Watch Milley's full statement.