Lt. Francis Conole, son of William L. and Patricia L. Conole of Skaneateles, joined the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, which supported the 56th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20.
AFIC is a joint service committee charged with coordinating all military ceremonial support for the inaugural period. As a joint committee, it includes members from all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including Reserve and National Guard components.
Conole was assigned to the ceremonies directorate as the assembly area assistant officer in charge. He was responsible for instructing assembly team personnel and assisting the merge control officer to ensure all marching elements, floats and horse units were merged in proper parade sequence. Conole is a reserve member of the United States Navy and has served for six years.
"It is a tremendous honor for me to support the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. A big part of why I decided to serve this country was to protect and defend our democracy. The importance of the Presidential Inauguration is much deeper than merely swearing in a new President. It is a celebration of this country's democracy, way of life and what we find to defend. I am proud to be a part of it," Conole said.
A 1996 graduate of West Hill High School in Syracuse, Conole graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001 and recently completed graduate work at the Naval War College.
The U.S. Armed Forces have participated in the inauguration of the president of the United States since April 30, 1789, when members of the U.S. Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City. Two hundred twenty years later, the participation of the armed forces continues to honor our commander in chief, recognize civilian control of the armed forces and celebrate democracy.