As he leaves the Capitol after taking the oath of office Jan. 20, President Bush is expected to exercise a familiar presidential prerogative — reviewing the troops.
Then the real embrace of the military begins.
Bush, who campaigned for reelection as a wartime president, will have more than the usual military flourishes at his second-term inaugural ceremonies.
With 138,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq (news - web sites) and casualties reported nearly every day, the White House wanted to showcase the role of the armed services in the war against terrorism as well as in the nation's premier display of a peaceful transition of power.
Officials are tight-lipped about details, awaiting a briefing this week from the Presidential Inaugural Committee. But the military theme will thread through the 10 days of inaugural events that are normally highlighted by pomp and circumstance, a time when the nation's capital turns into a lavish backdrop for the revelry of the winning party.