The Pentagon says that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is going to increase his efforts to lift the hold on hundreds of general and flag officer promotions as Congress' summer recess comes to an end.
“Now that the August recess is over, Secretary Austin continues to lean hard into this and plans to conduct additional calls with senators this week,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.
The blockade on promotions is the work of a single senator — Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala. — who is forcing the chamber to hold roll call votes on each nominee individually. The hundreds of held-up promotions would take months to deal with under the Senate's infamously plodding pace.
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The holds have meant that the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are now being overseen by unconfirmed officers who are leading the three branches in acting capacities. Now, on Sept. 29, the military's top military officer — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley — is also set to retire and leave his post vacant.
Ryder confirmed earlier Monday that if Milley's replacement, Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown, the current Air Force chief of staff, is not confirmed, the job will be filled by the Joint Chiefs vice chairman in an acting capacity.
Military leaders have repeatedly stressed, both in speeches and television appearances, that these…