U.S. ARMY AIDE TO THE VICE PRESIDENT COLLAR INSIGNIA

More than twenty years passed after the insignia for Aides to the President of the United States was approved and a corresponding insignia was created for those serving as Aides to the Vice President; it was approved on January 24, 1969. While the Vice President’s Constitutional duties are unrelated to military affairs, the holder of the office is one of the statutory attendees at meetings of the National Security Council.

While many of the functions performed by aides to the Vice President involve social functions and planning, one of their most famous jobs is to carry the “nuclear football”—the 40-plus-pound briefcase that holds information necessary to launch a nuclear attack, whether as a first strike or in response to an attack by an enemy. It was a job not widely known until then-Vice President Joe Biden, in an attempt to portray Donald Trump as unqualified for the office of Commander in Chief, actually pointed to the aide holding the satchel and said, “There’s a guy who follows me, right back there…has the nuclear codes, so God forbid anything ever happened to the president and I had to make a decision, the codes are with—he [Trump] is not qualified to know the code!”

Biden’s somewhat incoherent ramblings actually made some conservative viewers wonder just how qualified “Amtrak Joe” was to make a decision that could lead to a full-on nuclear war, and also lambasted him for spotlighting a position that previously was not well known by the general public. Liberal pundits, on the other hand, expressed similar outrage after a member of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort posted an image of the President’s “nuclear football aide” on Facebook—but in this instance the aide actually posed for the photo, which some argued raised security issues.
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