Sen. Tuberville drops his monthslong hold on hundreds of military promotions

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., says he will drop his hold on most military promotions. He has been blocking military promotions for months over his objections to an unrelated Pentagon policy that pays for service members’ travel to seek abortion care.

Tuberville told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday that he will drop the hold on all promotions except those for four-star generals. Tuberville has been blocking promotions since February, creating a backlog that has grown to more than 450.

“We didnt get the win that we wanted, Tuberville told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday. “We still have a bad policy, We tried to stand up for the taxpayers of this country.”

Fellow Republicans criticized his blockade, saying it damaged military readiness.

Defense Department Spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that Tuberville’s continued hold would impact about 11 officers who are up for promotion to the level of a four-star general.

“All of those positions, obviously are key senior leadership positions to include the vice chiefs of the various services,” Ryder said. He went on to list others whose promotions would remain on hold.

“The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, the commander of Air Combat Command as well as the commander of United States Northern Command, Cyber Command and Space Command,” Ryder said. “Clearly vital and critical organizations, all of which require experience senior leaders in those positions.”

Tuberville admitted his tactics failed to impact the policy he was targeting but did succeed in putting a spotlight on the issue.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was prepared to force a vote to change Senate rules on approving military promotions, and some Republicans including Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan were open to backing it.

Tuberville’s announcement prevents the vote to change Senate rules, which some worried would set a dangerous precedent going forward.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit
Previous articleAlaska Police Standards Council turns down plan to lower hiring age of corrections officers — for now
Next articleInmate at Alaska’s Goose Creek prison dies at 69