U.S. Presidents have the monumental responsibility of running the country. On top of that, they also have to be ready for the moment they may have to use our nuclear weapons to protect our country.
At The Ready
If the president is not at the White House, he has a senior military aide-de-camp guarding the Presidential Emergency Satchel. In a post-World War II world, the president had to be ready for anything to happen at any time.
When the Cuban Missile Crisis happened in 1963. President John F. Kennedy was concerned about having the ability to authorize a missile strike from anywhere in the world.
“What would I say to the Joint War Room to launch an immediate nuclear strike? How would the person who received my instructions verify them?”President John F. Kennedy
A 45-pound aluminum-framed black leather briefcase was created fThe Presidential Emergency Satchel became known as the nuclear football since the operational code name for a nuclear launch was Operation Dropkick.
The president doesn’t launch from the case. Instead, it verifies his identity to the Pentagon. They are the ones who carry out the nuclear launch.
Bill Gulley, the former director of the White House Military Office, talked about the football in his book, “Breaking Cover.”
“There are four things in the Football,” Gulley writes. “The Black Book containing the retaliatory options, a book listing classified site locations, a manila folder with eight or ten pages stapled together describing procedures for the Emergency Broadcast System, and a three-by-five inch card with authentication codes [which the president usually carries separately from the football].”
Loosing The Football
Carter found the process complicated, so he had the”biscuit” simplified. A Clinton aide said it was similar to a “Denny’s Menu.” Clinton forgot where he put the football the day his scandal with Monica Lewinsky hit the news.
Air Force Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson was responsible for the case. He said, “I was floored-and so was the Pentagon. It had never happened before.” It wasn’t Clintons only time, either. He also left it behind at NATO.
Carter lost the biscuit in his suit jacket. Reagans was thrown away in the George Washington University Hospital when he was shot in an assassination attempt.
Trump’s briefcase was not allowed into Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Instead, a Chinese security official tried to take it, and a U.S. Secret Service Agent tackled him.