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Army chief urges caution amid calls to arm more US soldiers in wake of fatal shooting

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Army chief urges caution amid calls to arm more US soldiers in wake of fatal shooting

The Army’s top officer said Friday they would review security at military recruiting and reserve centers in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Tennessee, but urged caution amid growing calls to arm more soldiers to protect against these kinds of attacks.

Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters that arming troops in those offices could cause more problems than it might solve.

“I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

Outside of military operations, Defense Department policy limits the carrying of firearms to personnel engaged in law enforcement duties and “qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.”

The Pentagon released a statement Friday saying that Secretary Carter had approved “immedate steps” to enhance force protection, and had also asked for recommendations to ensure safety at military centers by the end of next week.

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