JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi National Guard will close its 10 off-base recruiting centers around the state as a security precaution in the wake of the Chattanooga shootings.
The news comes a day after Gov. Phil Bryant issued an executive order the Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard, Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, to arm certain full-time military personnel at military facilities, including recruiting centers.
National Guard Public Information Officer Lt. Col. Christian Patterson told WLOX News, "The store-front recruiting offices will close as soon as possible to make sure these soldiers and airmen carrying out that mission are as safe as can be."
The National Guard is finalizing procedures to arm personnel as outlined in Gov. Bryant's executive order, however no timetable on when the citizen soldiers will begin carrying arms was released.
National Guard recruiting offices on Mississippi college campuses will remain open, manned with unarmed soldiers and airmen. Patterson said armed college campus security will provide protection in those locations.
"Our recruiting mission continues to be strong. Interest in the National Guard is strong," said Patterson. "The force is still intact, but we will have a different way of having them based."
Recruiters will continue to wear uniforms when in the public conducting recruiting missions. Patterson said the National Guard has not set a time frame for closing the nine storefront recruiting offices.