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Walker among governors ordering National Guard to be armed

In response to the Chattanooga shootings, several governors have taken measures to increase security of National Guard recruiters and military facilities in the...

In response to the Chattanooga shootings, the governors of Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin have taken measures to increase security of National Guard recruiters and military facilities in their states. States control their National Guard units, so governors can make decisions about Guard actions, whereas the President is commander in chief of the nation's military branches.

Under Florida Gov. Rick Scott's order, National Guard members at six state recruitment centers will be moved to armories until security is improved. In addition, law enforcement agencies will be asked to conduct regular security checks and qualified Guard members will be adequately armed, according to a statement from the governor's office.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure all of our guardsmen are safe," Scott told CNN. "We've got to understand that we have people in our country that want to harm our military."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's order will arm National Guard personnel at military facilities throughout the state.

"Arming the National Guard at these bases will not only serve as a deterrent to anyone wishing to do harm to our service men and women, but will enable them to protect those living and working on the base," he said in a statement.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin authorized the arming of certain full-time personnel in military installations throughout the state. "It is painful enough when we lose members of our armed forces when they are sent in harm's way, but it is unfathomable that they should be vulnerable for attack in our own communities," she said in a statement.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence issued an order to enhance security at all National Guard facilities across the state, including recruiting storefronts.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday issued an executive order allowing his state's National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty.

"Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga," he said. "Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves. I am also directing Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of our service members."

Louisiana and Arkansas also made moves to arm National Guard personnel. Other states, including Alabama, New York and Illinois, stepped up security at recruitment centers.

Social media users have latched on to stories about protecting members of the military in recent days.

Armed citizens in cities like Huntsville, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, and Dothan, Alabama, have been photographed standing outside recruitment centers.

One commenter from CNN affiliate WTVY called the civilians a "true example of patriotism."

Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell is among those saying the Pentagon should arm military recruiters and service members. In a Facebook post Monday, he opposed the Pentagon's decisions after the Chattanooga shootings.

Luttrell received the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 facing Taliban fighters in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings. He was later depicted in the movie "Lone Survivor."

An initial security review, but little change

The U.S. Northern Command, which includes bases across the United States, said Monday that it will keep a heightened security posture, with bases at force protection level "bravo," the third-highest threat level on a five-tier Defense Department scale, after last week's deadly shootings.

The force protection measures will include increased vigilance, random security checks and other, undisclosed measures, said Capt. Scott Miller, public affairs director for U.S. Northern Command.

The Department of Defense announced that it was taking modest steps to better protect military facilities after the attack. The Marine Corps closed recruiting stations within 40 miles of the shootings, and workers were told not to wear military uniforms, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

Cook said other military branches were also moving to increase security, at least temporarily. Navy recruiting stations increased their coordination with law enforcement in the Southeastern U.S., and the Army bulked up security at certain recruiting stations.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter requested recommendations on how to better protect service members by the end of last week, Cook said.

Immediately after Thursday's attack, the Pentagon conducted an initial security review at military bases and recruiting centers, but there was no immediate recommendation to raise security levels, a senior defense official told CNN.

As for the hundreds of recruiting centers around the country -- outside of those fortified military bases -- the official acknowledged that remains a challenge.

"It's very tough to figure out," the official said, adding that there was no specific time frame or format for future recommendations.

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