Sullivan on Military Nominees: Driving Best Flag Officers Out of the Military Would Be a “National Security Suicide Mission”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), the only member of the Senate currently serving in the military, said Monday he is concerned that the ongoing holds on military nominees presents a long-term strategic risk to America’s armed forces. In an interview on Fox News Channel’s “America Reports,” Sen. Sullivan told John Roberts he has heard from officers, who have served their nation honorably for decades, indicating they are strongly considering retirement due to the holds placed on their positions. Sen. Sullivan also encouraged Senator Tuberville to hold Biden’s civilian Department Defense nominees who craft policy, not uniformed military officers who have put their lives on the line for their country.

SULLIVAN: We need these great warriors on the field and we shouldn't be punishing them for a policy they have nothing to do with.

Senator Sullivan: A number of veterans came on the floor, Senate Republican veterans came on the floor. I am a pro-life senator. I'm against the Biden Department of Defense policy. I've worked with Senator Tuberville for months on this. But, right now, what he's doing is the wrong timing and wrong target. Like I said, the timing is, as you just mentioned, we have a very dangerous world right now and his hold is impacting close to 400 military uniformed one-star, two-star, three-star, four-star generals. He's not going after the civilians. That's what I say. Let's put a hold on the civilians who make the policy! John, it’s the wrong target because these are the warriors who have been fighting wars for the last 30 years, deploying. The first guy I tried to bring to the floor Wednesday night was a Silver Star recipient, a Purple Heart recipient, from colonel to brigadier general. Senator Tuberville is blocking all of these great warriors. It makes no sense because they don't have the power to change the policy and they have nothing to do with it. We need those warriors on the field. And this is personal to me. These are my peers. I'm a colonel in the Marines, and this is my peer group. These are great warriors. We need them, and we shouldn't be punishing them. It's not only undermining readiness, it's undermining morale. I can tell you that for sure.

SULLIVAN: Driving our best flag officers out of the military would be a national security suicide mission.

JR: No sign that he's going to back down on this. Can you convince him?

DS: We'll see. I mean, I still have very open channels with Senator Tuberville. He's a friend of mine. He's a colleague. You know, we went at it on Wednesday night because I feel so personally committed to this, but we're going to keep working it. But I think the issue of readiness today and the strategic risk to the force—what I'm starting to hear is our general officer corps saying, you know what, I've done 30 years and seven deployments. I'm going to be held up. I'm going to get out. If we start driving our best flag officers out of the military, this is going to be viewed as a national security suicide mission.

Click here to watch the full interview.          

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