Army asks 20 high-ranking officers to stay in roles amid hold on military promotions
2023/07/23

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has for months held back promotions for over 250 high-ranking military officers in protest of a Defense Department abortion policy.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., in Washington on June 8.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images fileThe U.S. Army asked nearly 20 high-ranking officers who were planning to retire or move to another job to delay their career moves and stay in their current roles through December, according to two defense officials, a consequence of hundreds of military promotions being blocked by a Republican senator over a Pentagon abortion policy.

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Of those officers, 13 agreed to stay on, some for nearly a year longer than expected, the officials said. 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has for months held back promotions for over 250 high-ranking military officers over a Defense Department policy that pays for the travel expenses of service members who seek abortions in states where they are legal.

Tuberville says he wants a vote on a bill introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that would codify the Pentagon abortion policy into law, and that he will end his blockade if it passes. In return, Tuberville says that he wants the Defense Department to agree to cancel the policy if the measure fails. 

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One individual who agreed to extend until December is Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, the commander of the Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Alabama, the officials said. He has been in the role since December 2019 and was planning to retire this year.

Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, the Army's director of the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, based in the Pentagon, was selected to replace him. 

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved and signed the extensions. 

Those generals planning to retire had to delay job offers and stop their VA benefits and retirement process.

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