July 14, 2020

Following DoD Confirmation that Lt. Col. Vindman Was Set to Be Promoted, Duckworth Paves Way for Senior Military Promotions to Be Confirmed

Duckworth had been seeking written confirmation regarding the accuracy of reports that undue political interference may have affected routine military promotions


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, has lifted her partial hold on senior military promotions following the receipt of confirmation that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper did not block the expected and earned promotion of Lt. Col. Vindman to Colonel. In the last 24 hours, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) confirmed in writing to Duckworth that Vindman was selected by the Army promotion board to be promoted to Colonel; that the Secretary of the Army approved this recommendation and submitted it to DoD for approval; and that DoD signed off on and submitted the Army promotions packet without modification to the White House.

“Donald Trump’s unprecedented efforts to further politicize our military by retaliating against Lt. Col. Vindman—for doing his patriotic duty of telling the truth under oath—are unconscionable. I’m glad the Department of Defense was finally able to set the record straight that Vindman had earned and was set to receive a promotion to Colonel. We must always protect the merit-based system that is the foundation of our Armed Forces from political corruption and unlawful retaliation.”

Since the DoD formally confirmed in writing the accuracy of prior anonymously sourced assertions, Senator Duckworth will not object to the confirmation, en bloc, of the remaining military promotions at the O6 level or above, when the Senate returns to session the week of July 20, 2020, and if the Majority Leader requests consent to do so. Duckworth previously helped confirm 162 military promotions at the O5 level and below, en bloc, right before the Senate adjourned for recess earlier this month.