DOD Woke Agenda

Alabama Senator Blasts Lloyd Austin: ‘Most Political Secretary of Defense We’ve Ever Seen’

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., once again stymied his Democrat colleagues from approving nearly 200 promotions for military generals and flag officers—while also picking up an ally in his ongoing dispute with the Pentagon over its new abortion policy.

The latest standoff took place Wednesday evening when Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., asked for unanimous consent to move forward with the nominations. As he has done repeatedly, Tuberville objected. This time, Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., stood by his colleague.

“The policy is immoral, taking Department of Defense abortions from less than 20 per year to over 4,000 abortions annually,” Marshall said. “It’s beyond me why the White House wants to pick this fight. The policy is illegal. It forces taxpayers to subsidize abortion in violation of federal law.”

Marshall’s estimate comes from a Rand Corp. study analyzing the Pentagon’s new abortion policy, which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin implemented in February by executive fiat months after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

The new policy allows U.S. servicemembers and their family to obtain taxpayer-funded abortions.

Tuberville warned Austin in October to steer clear of a divisive abortion agenda at the Pentagon or face the prospect that military nominations wouldn’t receive a Senate vote. Yet the defense secretary did so anyway. Austin is now engaged in an all-out campaign, backed by seven of his predecessors, to pressure Tuberville to drop the hold.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Tuberville took aim at Austin for his refusal to abandon the abortion policy.

“Secretary Austin blew up 40 years of tradition and agreement,” Tuberville said. “There was no debate in the Senate. There was no debate in the House. And here’s why: They didn’t have the votes. This administration couldn’t change abortion laws here in the Senate or the House, so they wrote a memo.”

Tuberville added, “Secretary Austin is the most political secretary of defense we’ve ever seen.” . . . .

. . . . Austin announced Feb. 16 that the Defense Department would provide three weeks of paid leave and reimbursement of travel expenses for military personnel and dependents who are seeking an abortion.

The defense secretary attempted to justify the move by claiming it would protect “readiness of the force.” . . . . . (read more on Daily Signal)




‘Woke’ Pentagon Unites House Conservatives, Tuberville in Standoff Over Military Promotions (Daily Signal, 12 MAY 23)

A group of House conservatives made their way across the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night for a rare appearance on the Senate floor. They were there to show solidarity with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the Alabama Republican crusading against the Pentagon’s woke leadership.

At least 10 conservatives were on hand to witness Tuberville’s objection to nearly 200 promotions for military generals and flag officers. Democrats have repeatedly tried to approve the military appointments as a group only to be stymied by Tuberville each time.

Tuberville is vowing to hold the military promotions until the Defense Department rescinds its Feb. 16 policy providing three weeks of paid leave and reimbursement of travel expenses for military personnel and dependents who are seeking an abortion. An estimate from Rand Corp. predicts the number of abortions would skyrocket from 20 to more than 4,000 each year.

“It was important for House members to show Sen. Tuberville how many millions of Americans are standing with him,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told The Daily Signal. “I know it’s tough in the Senate when the uniparty just wants to make everything go smoothly, but sometimes that dynamic violates the values of our fellow Americans. And what we see right now from the woke Department of Defense is a radical departure from the norm.” . . . . . (read more)


Col. James Henderson: Sen. Tuberville, hold the line (1819 Press, 10 MAY 23)

As a retired Army colonel with 26 years of service — including commanding soldiers in Vietnam and in the U.S.; commanding Pueblo Army Depot, a large industrial installation; and serving in key staff positions, including Deputy Director of the DIA Missile and Space Intelligence Center — I am well qualified to respond to those who are either misinformed or who deliberately misrepresent the truth regarding Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R) actions.

I strongly support his blocking military promotions for the reasons below.

Alabama’s senior senator is using the tools at his disposal to hold the Department of Defense accountable for subsidizing the killing of unborn children, a policy which is clearly an attempt to circumvent federal law after the Roe v. Wade reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I believe Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin should focus on defending our nation rather than placating the political left at the expense of our military readiness.

I also find the use of taxpayer funds for this purpose to be despicable, as do the majority of people in our country.

Instead of injecting politics into the military, our military leaders should focus on returning our military to its mission of defending our nation, not promoting abortions or divisive “woke” concepts that weaken our military, including the use of racial quotas rather than merit in many personnel actions.

Those who claim that delaying the promotions of generals and admirals impacts readiness should consider the long-standing practice of “frocking” officers. This is a practical means of allowing officers to serve in the next higher rank before they receive a formal promotion with pay. For example, I was serving as a lieutenant colonel in a colonel’s position but was “frocked” to serve as colonel until I was officially promoted.

I can assure you that our armed services do not have any general or admiral positions that are not being filled with qualified officers.

Tuberville is refusing to be swayed by the “Swamp.” I commend him for his courage, and I am sure he will continue to stand firm in support of the Constitution, the taxpayers, and the right to life.

Hold the line, Coach!

James Henderson is a retired colonel in the United States Army.

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