Air Force Secretary Criticizes Senator’s Blockade of Military Promotions
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall criticized Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) for his actions in blocking hundreds of military promotions. Kendall expressed his concern over Tuberville’s lack of military experience and understanding of the impact his actions are having on the military.
In an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta, Kendall stated, “Sen. Tuberville has no experience in the military. It’s his first time in public service and I don’t think he appreciates how much of an impact this is having and how negative an impact it is for the military.”
Tuberville’s blockade of promotions is in protest of the Pentagon’s policy on providing service members with paid leave and covering travel costs for abortions in another state. This stance has drawn criticism from Kendall, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro.
In a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post, Kendall and his colleagues criticized the appointment of acting officials who lack the necessary legal authorities to make crucial decisions for the military’s sustainability.
Despite the backlash, Tuberville remains firm in his stance. He told CNN that he is “not budging” and that if he believed he was truly harming the military, he would not continue with the blockade.
Kendall referred to Tuberville’s actions as “totally unprecedented” and highlighted the urgent need to fill recently vacated positions within the military. He emphasized the negative impact the blockade is having on military personnel and their families, describing it as disruptive and debilitating.
Describing the situation as throwing a “big monkey wrench” into the Department of Defense, Kendall expressed his frustration with Tuberville’s lack of understanding.
Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark also criticized Tuberville, stating that his hold on promotions is a “national security problem.” Clark highlighted the broader implications, including the blocking of assignments, policy changes, and preparations for potential conflicts with China and military assistance to Ukraine.
Clark suggested employing hardball tactics, such as cutting off federal programs to Alabama and pressuring Senate leadership, specifically Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to address the issue.
The ongoing dispute between Kendall and Tuberville has raised concerns about the negative impact on the military and the potential consequences for national security.