At least 25 three- and four-star officers were forced to delay retirements to ensure continuity of command due to a Republican senator's months-long blockade against hundreds of military promotions, according to a new memo from Senate Democrats.
The memo released by Democrat lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday evening details personal stories of hardship and breaks down an array of effects stemming from Sen. Tommy Tuberville's hold on confirming general and flag officer nominees. Tuberville, who opposes a Pentagon policy allowing troops leave time and travel expenses for abortions, is a member of the committee.
“Most of these officers have served for 30 or 40 years, mobilized for numerous combat deployments, and have missed countless birthdays, anniversaries, children's births, sports games and music recitals,” the memo said, referring to service members who have put off retirement because their replacements can't be confirmed.
Military leaders have repeatedly argued the Tuberville blockade hinders the military's effectiveness in part by adding stress to military families, but have provided few specific examples of the harm to families.
The memo from Senate Democrats details several specific anecdotes of turmoil brought to military families. For example, a Navy spouse is now unemployed after she gave up…