President Trump has been blasted for ignoring the real needs of the military and acting as a "Napoleon in the making" with his plan for an extravagant military parade.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the request on Tuesday, and said that "asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation."
Critics blasted the move, which would be the first major military parade since after the Gulf War, as means to satisfying the President's ego.
California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN that "we have a Napoleon in the making here" and added that a grand display of destructive power is "not our style, it's not the way we do business."
Despite expressing his desire to support troops, his plans to have tanks rolling on the streets of Washington D.C. later this year was met with skepticism from military veterans.
"Donald Trump has continually shown himself to have authoritarian tendencies, and this is just another worrisome example of that," retired Major General Paul Eaton, of the group Vote Vets, said in a statement.
"It is clear that a military parade isn?t about saluting the military, it is about making a display of the military saluting him."
"This is beneath us as a nation. We are the most powerful military on earth. We are very proud of that and rightly so. We don't need to be parading our military hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue to show that to anybody," retired Rear Admiral John Kirby, who served as a State Department spokesman during the Obama administration and now comments on CNN.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, who has led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, told POLITICO that "we have more important things to do than to focus on a damn parade" and added that such a festivity "detracts from all we are doing."
Bednarek said that Americans "do not want to come across as doing one-upmanship of the North Koreans or the Russians or the Chinese."
With the exception of France's Bastille Day parade, which reportedly inspired Trump's desire to have his own after a trip to Emmanuel Macron in Paris last year, critics also pointed out that most military parades are held in authoritative regimes.
Macron has also gained comparisons to Napoleon in his home countryfor grandious rhetoric and once comparing himself to the Roman god Jupiter.
But from the European point of view the French parade has more to do with a tradition of celebrating independence, and the overthrow of an 18th century king, than the present ability to bring fire and fury to the battlefield.
"If you want to have that like a baby who puts all his match boxes in front of him and says ‘well there are my match boxes’ I can live with it. But its more the behavior of those to show power who have no power than for those who have power," European Parliament member Markus Ferber, of Germany's conservative Christian Democrats told the Daily News Wednesday, also bringing up North Korea and Russia as countries with similar parades.
Marietje Schaake, a parliament member from the center-left Dutch party Democrats 66, added that most European countries do not have grand processions of arms through the streets, and mentioned that if Germany did it would evoke echoes of its Nazi past.
"It happens in countries where the signaling of these parades is not of peace, is not of diplomacy. They are usually a show of force vis-a-vis the domestic population, in support of nationalist rhetoric or to threaten or intimidate neighbors," she said, adding that she did not understand the reason why Trump would have a parade.