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An image of First Lady Melania Trump escorted by a Marine is circulating social media and comes with an oddly specific assertion.
The post, shared on April 3, says: "13,506 Marines have applied for White House duty since the inauguration of President Trump. In the previous eight years, no Marines volunteered for this duty, they had to be ‘assigned.’ Speaks volumes."
The photo post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The post contains no sources or citations, and its specifics, particularly the 13,506 number, appears to be made up.
Service members in the U.S. Marine Corps do not typically volunteer for White House guard positions, but are assigned from a pool of candidates deemed eligible, a Marines spokesperson told PolitiFact.
"Marines serving in White House duty are generally not volunteers and are assigned from the eligible population through the Marine Corps' routine manpower processes," Capt. Karoline Foote, Marine Corps Communication Strategy & Operations Officer wrote in an email. "Most Marines who serve at the White House are assigned to the position based on the needs of the Marine Corps and after a lengthy and detailed screening process."
A small number of positions, Capt. Foote told us, are filled by noncommissioned officers, who are also screened and vetted thoroughly. She explained these volunteers number in the dozens – not the tens of thousands, as the post claims.
The main post for White House Marine sentries is standing outside the door of the West Wing whenever the president is working. Four work at a time in shifts of 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.
A Facebook post showed a photo of Melania Trump escorted by a Marine and claims that over 13,000 Marines have applied for White House duty since Trump’s inauguration and that zero did so when Obama was president.
The strangely specific claim appears to be fabricated, contains no sourcing and does not line up with the actual process in which Marine sentries are assigned to the White House.
We rate it False.
Facebook post, April 3, 2019
Associated Press, Marines did not volunteer by the thousands for sentry duty in Trump White House, Dec. 19, 2018
YouTube, Inside the White House: The Marine Sentries, Dec. 28, 2009
Email interview, Capt. Karoline Foote Communication Strategy & Operations Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps, April 8, 2019
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