SALT LAKE CITY — Moving 1,200 chairs from the Salt Palace and setting them up in the Capitol rotunda may not seem like military training, but it is for members of the Utah National Guard.
They're getting ready for Gov. Gary Herbert's inauguration on Monday, where other members of the guard will participate in everything from security to a 19-gun salute to a helicopter flyover.
All of it serves as a chance for the 100 or so military men and women involved to practice various skills — including, when it comes to making sure there's seating at the event, logistics.
"For the National Guard, this is our opportunity to welcome in our commander-in-chief," said Utah Army National Guard Col. Scot Olson, the military liaison to the state Capitol.
Olson said planning for the inauguration began shortly after Herbert was elected in November to fill the remaining two years of former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s term.
This will be Herbert's second inaugural ceremony in just over a year. He was sworn in as governor in a modest ceremony inside the Capitol when Huntsman stepped down in August 2009 to become U.S. ambassador to China.
This year's swearing-in ceremony will be similar, Olson said. "He wanted to stress that he's preserving the history and the dignity of the office while maintaining his responsibilities as a conservative fiscally."3 comments on this story
The National Guard's role won't differ either, Olson said. "It is a statutory and historic component," he said. "My understanding is the Utah National Guard or the Utah state militia has participated in each inauguration since statehood."
During the hourlong event, Herbert is set to deliver an inaugural address that will highlight the state's "Legacy of Leadership" along with his vision for Utah. The Utah Chamber Artists, a 40-person choir, will also perform.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at noon on Monday and will be broadcast live on KUED Ch. 7.
There is no cost to attend the event in person and seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.