Army recruiters have been warned to treat armed civilians gathering at centers across the nation as a security threat in the aftermath of the Chattanooga shooting.
Four Marines and a sailor were killed by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez during an attack last Thursday on a recruiting center and a Navy facility.
Stars and Stripes reports that a U.S. Army Recruiting Command policy letter issued Monday states: Soldiers should avoid anyone standing outside the recruiting centers attempting to offer protection and report them to local law enforcement and the command if they feel threatened.
Armed citizens -- some reportedly associated with activist groups and militias -- stood vigil outside recruiting centers in Wisconsin, Georgia, Tennessee, Idaho and elsewhere this week, saying they want to provide protection to servicemembers barred from carrying firearms on duty, according to the report.
"I'm sure the citizens mean well, but we cannot assume this in every case and we do not want to advocate this behavior," stated the Army Command Operations Center-Security Division letter, which was authenticated by the service.
Defense Department policy prohibits anyone other than military police or law enforcement to carry weapons on federal property.
Read more about the attacks on Chattanooga military facilities