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Hundreds of Promotions Approved After Tuberville Drops Hold

December 6, 2023

Audrey Decker and Bradley Peniston

Defense One

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) speaks to members of the press at the U.S. Capitol on November 15, 2023, in Washington, D.C. ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES

By Audrey Decker and Bradley Peniston, Defense One / Decemer 5, 2023

Sen. Tommy Tuberville released most of his holds on officer promotions on Tuesday, largely ending a 9-month protest that failed to reduce troops’ access to abortion services but left the U.S. military increasingly shorthanded at its most senior jobs. Within hours, the Senate approved the promotion of 425 senior officers long held up by the Alabama Republican. 

But Tuberville maintained his hold on four-star nominations. A Pentagon spokesman said that means Tuberville will further delay filling 11 of the top posts in the military: the vice chiefs of the service branches; the commanders of U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pacific Air Forces, Air Combat Command, and the commanders of U.S. Northern Command, Cyber Command, and Space Command.

Still, Pentagon leaders were “encouraged by the news,” Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Tuesday. “We'll continue to stay engaged with Senator Tuberville and the Senate directly to urge that all the holds on all our general flag officer nominations be lifted.”

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