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Thread: Military Promotions

  1. #1
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Military Promotions

    One would think this wouldn't be political. Of course, harking back to conversations with desertswo it wasn't always the case. There are now 1,123 members up for promotion and Sen. Duckworth has announced that she is blocking all of them until she gets, what seems to be ironclad assurance, the Lt. Col. Vindman will not be penalized by the Trump Admin for telling the truth under oath.

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., announced Thursday she would block over 1,100 military promotions until the Pentagon promised not to interfere in the promotion of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the impeachment of President Donald Trump earlier this year.


    The Illinois Democrat, an Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs after her helicopter was shot down in 2004, said she would block the Senate confirmation of 1,123 members of the armed forces unless Defense Secretary Mark Esper "confirms in writing that he did not, or will not block" Vindman's "expected and deserved" promotion to colonel.


    Some military officials and lawmakers feared the Trump administration would interfere with the promotion of Vindman, an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, because of his impeachment inquiry testimony, the Washington Post and New York Times reported last month.


    The Senate would normally pass the list of promotions with an unrecorded or unanimous vote, but Duckworth's objection to the promotions would halt the process and would force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to file a motion to overcome her objection.


    "It is simply unprecedented and wrong for any Commander in Chief to meddle in routine military matters at all, whether or not he has a personal vendetta against a Soldier who did his patriotic duty and told the truth – a Soldier who has been recommended for promotion by his superiors because of his performance," Duckworth said in a statement. "This goes far beyond any single military officer, it is about protecting a merit-based system from political corruption and unlawful retaliation.”

    She said she would lift the hold on the promotions when Esper gave written confirmation that Vindman's promotion will not be blocked by the Trump administration.

    Vindman, who served as a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, delivered explosive testimony during the impeachment inquiry, telling lawmakers he found Trump's request of Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations "inappropriate" and "improper." The then-National Security Council staffer drew open criticism from Trump as "insubordinate." Vindman was ousted from his position after the impeachment trial concluded with Trump's acquittal..


    His twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, was also fired from the White House despite not taking part in the impeachment inquiry or trial, and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was also removed from his post.
    Sondland had testified he worked at "the express direction of the president" to pressure Ukrainian officials to open investigations.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...an/5371110002/

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    I'm not in the loop on military promotions, but Duckworth passes around a lot of poorly sourced garbage on her Twitter. I don't trust her.

    Is Vindman actually slated for an automatic promotion or something? To an outsider, this just as easily looks like a politician rewarding someone for attacking her political opponents.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    I'm not in the loop on military promotions, but Duckworth passes around a lot of poorly sourced garbage on her Twitter. I don't trust her.

    Is Vindman actually slated for an automatic promotion or something? To an outsider, this just as easily looks like a politician rewarding someone for attacking her political opponents.
    He is scheduled to move up to full Colonel but as desertswo once told me anything can happen if someone doesn't like you all of a sudden.

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    Generally, you are not “scheduled to move up to full Colonel”. There is a rather detailed process at almost every level, not everyone makes it thru these selection boards to the next rank. That being said, I understand the perspective that promotions happen on a schedule of sorts and follow a defined (for the most part) timeline.

    DA 600-2 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR ACTIVE-DUTY LIST OFFICER SELECTION BOARDS can put you “in the loop” for Active-duty Army Officer promotions. Start at Appendix B OFFICER PROMOTIONS Section I thru Section III (pg. 11-15) for the abbreviated process.
    AR 600-8-29 goes into far more detail and Title 10 is the base document.

    https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_p...web/m600_2.pdf


    AR 600-8-29 Section III Policy 1–9. Managing promotions
    a. Promotions are a General Staff responsibility of the DCS, G-1.
    b. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints generals and lieutenant generals according to section 601, Title 10, United States Code (USC) (10 USC 601).
    c. Selection for and promotion to the grades of MG, brigadier general (BG), COL, LTC, MAJ, and CPT will be according to sections 611 through 626 and 628, Title 10, USC (10 USC 611 through 626 and 628).


    https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_p.../r600_8_29.pdf


    There are exceptions to this (Medical and Law being the most obvious), but those exceptions are covered in the appropriate ARs and DAs.
    LTC Vindman’s promotion to Colonel is indeed now political, due Senator Duckworth’s action. It seems unusual for Senators to engage in the military promotion process below the General / Flag officer level, however this opens the door to it, and I don’t really see what good can come of it.

    PS: "anything can happen if someone likes you" as well as "doesn't like you" all of a sudden... to build off of what desertswo once said.

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    LTC Vindman’s promotion to Colonel is indeed now political, due Senator Duckworth’s action. It seems unusual for Senators to engage in the military promotion process below the General / Flag officer level, however this opens the door to it, and I don’t really see what good can come of it.
    it was political starting from when LTC Vindman-- and his brother-- were kicked off the NSC staff, all while Trump was tweeting about "insubordination".

    the fact that LTC Vindman got Army War College in res right afterwards was an indication that Big Army, at least, was going to back him for promotion. those slots aren't usually given to LTCs about to retire out.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    the fact that LTC Vindman got Army War College in res right afterwards was an indication that Big Army, at least, was going to back him for promotion. those slots aren't usually given to LTCs about to retire out.
    Agree completely about LTCs getting Army War College in res as an indication (almost guarantee?) of promotion to COL.
    I just don't get Senator Duckworth threatening to hold up the entire promotion list on an event that hasn't happened. That event being Vindman's promotion being held up by the Trump Administration. Although she may be just be throwing some red meat out there daring President Trump to hold up this particular promotion. It is a game he plays as well. I would hope he doesn't take the bait.

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    I just don't get Senator Duckworth threatening to hold up the entire promotion list on an event that hasn't happened. That event being Vindman's promotion being held up by the Trump Administration. Although she may be just be throwing some red meat out there daring President Trump to hold up this particular promotion. It is a game he plays as well. I would hope he doesn't take the bait.
    if this was a normal Presidency I would completely concur with what you said.

    but looking at the whole Crozier saga, and POTUS personally tweeting about Vindman-- the concerns about the President trying to shape what should be apolitical process are completely valid, IMHO.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    I'm not in the loop on military promotions, but Duckworth passes around a lot of poorly sourced garbage on her Twitter. I don't trust her.

    Is Vindman actually slated for an automatic promotion or something? To an outsider, this just as easily looks like a politician rewarding someone for attacking her political opponents.
    LTC Vindman was selected by 3 senior Army officers for promotion to the rank of Colonel....something less than 20% of lieutenant colonels accomplish. Nothing automatic.

    He, along with his twin brother who was also selected for promotion, went through all of the evaluations required for promotion.

    To hold up otherwise is purely a political move.

    And also, in the Army, Colonels are managed by the General Officer Management Officer, just like general officers, so are treated the same way on promotion and assignment management.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Uhhh, sounds like this particular case is a political move, but this entire process reeks. Expecting the Senate to rubber-stamp confirmations it is legally obligated to exercise due diligence on is dubious at best.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    looks like the concern was well placed...

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...917_story.html

    An Army officer who played a high-profile role in President Trump’s impeachment proceedings is retiring from the military over alleged “bullying” and “retaliation” by the president, his lawyer said Wednesday.

    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served as a national security aide at the White House until earlier this year and was up for promotion to colonel, will leave the military instead, his lawyer, David Pressman, said in a statement.

    “Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the president of the United States attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers,” Pressman said. “LTC Vindman’s patriotism has cost him his career.”

    Vindman, who was the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert, testified last fall about his concerns surrounding a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    The Washington Post last month reported that government officials were concerned that the White House would move to prevent Vindman’s promotion. Last week, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said she would block the promotion of more than 1,000 officers unless the Pentagon ensured that Vindman would not be subjected to retaliation.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    A report has it, the staff at the White House applauded when he was escorted from the premises.
    Now he is free to take advantage of that Ukrainian job opportunity, or at CNN?

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    A report has it, the staff at the White House applauded when he was escorted from the premises.
    Of course they did. Sycophantic hacks don't like to be reminded that they are without honor, morals or any loyalty to their country.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    A report has it, the staff at the White House applauded when he was escorted from the premises.
    Now he is free to take advantage of that Ukrainian job opportunity, or at CNN?
    TopHatter's quote to the above
    Sycophantic hacks don't like to be reminded that they are without honor, morals or any loyalty to their country
    I have always felt, and most always proven, that birds of a feather flock together. So are you saying you have feathers surfgun?
    Last edited by tbm3fan; 08 Jul 20, at 23:02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    TopHatter

    I have always felt, and most always proven, that birds of a feather flock together. So are you saying you have feathers?
    I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're asking.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're asking.
    Sorry, it is not directed at you but surfgun combining his comment with your observation and wondering what flock he flies with.

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