Army National Guard Sgt. Melissa Ann Burkhart participated in the 56th Presidential Inauguration Jan. 20 as part of the largest ever contingent of National Guard members to serve in Washington, D.C.
More than 7,000 Army and Air National Guard members from 31 states and territories provided the 2009 Presidential Inauguration with military working dogs, consequence management planning, and ceremonial, logistics, and medical support through the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee. National Guard members also assisted local authorities with crowd management, traffic control, and emergency services operations.
The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee is established every four years by the Secretary of Defense as a joint service organization to coordinate military ceremonial participation and support inaugural events.
Burkhart, a military police team leader, is a member of the 154th Military Police Company based in Moundsville, W.Va. The guard member has served in the military for 12 years.
She is the daughter of Mary Ann Armstrong of Wheeling W.Va.
The sergeant graduated in 1988 from Wheeling Park High School, Wheeling, and received a bachelor's degree in 2008 from West Liberty State College, W.Va.