"We'll send them up to the White House for a decision", said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as reporters peppered him with questions at the White House.
Trump has directed the Pentagon to draft options for a massive march - one that would rival the Bastille Day celebration he witnessed in Paris previous year.
It is a traditional event in France, but one without equivalent in the United States. "America, traditionally shows off its freedoms, not its military".
Troops march down the Champs Elysees during Paris' Bastille Day parade. Trump acts more like dictator than president.
Trump's appreciation of military fanfare is not shared by fellow Republicans in Congress. "But I am not interested in a military hardware display that would be cheesy and project weakness". "And I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France".
The Pentagon is exploring the idea of holding the parade in November in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, the official said.
Widely accepted as the world's mightiest, the USA military has no tradition of putting itself on parade like in Russia, North Korea or China.
Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, was more scathing. "A military parade like this - one that is unduly focused on a single person - is what authoritarian regimes do, not democracies".
California congresswoman Jackie Speier told CNN she was stunned by the parade announcement.
"We do it at bases across the country already", the Lowell Air Force veteran, who served in Desert Storm, said last night. "They are charged with carrying out the directives of the chief executive, who is Donald Trump, and they are doing a hell of a job".
Mr Mattis appeared at the briefing to lay out an argument for fully funding the military - shortly after Senate leaders announced that they had struck a deal on a budget that includes a major boost in military spending.
The last time a national military parade was held in the capital was June 1991 to celebrate the USA victory in the first Gulf War, when 8,000 Desert Storm troops marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, watched by 200,000 people.
Plans of the parade also came as news to local elected officials in the District of Columbia.