July 12, 2023
Video of the exchange can be downloaded here
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today asked General Randy George, current Vice Chief of Staff of the Army and nominee for Chief of Staff of the Army, about the national security impacts of the current hold on military promotions. In the exchange during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the General confirmed to Senator King that the unprecedented blockade is making it more difficult for the nation’s armed forces to maintain readiness in an already challenging global security landscape
“I can't help but comment on the futility of this hearing, since we know that General George will not be confirmed in any time in the foreseeable future. Not because of his qualifications or his experience or his vast knowledge that he would bring to the job, but because of a hold that's been held on all general officers,” said Senator King. “General George, you've committed to giving us your best professional advice. Do you believe that this blanket hold on the promotion of general officers which has left us, for example, without a Commandant of the Marine Corps in the first time in over 100 years, is undermining national security?”
“Senator, it is impacting our readiness,” replied General George. “For us, it's important as we move leaders to get the right leader in the right place at the right time and especially with the right experience. And so that's what we're challenged with right now with the hold.”
“Thank you… national security is being compromised by all 250 of those nominees that are being held up, not just by 1 or 2,” concluded Senator King.
There are currently over 250 senior military officers awaiting Senate confirmation of promotions or nominations – including the Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps. Last month, Senator King questioned the Acting Commandant on the implications of this hold during his confirmation hearing. Along with impacting America’s armed forces, the hold is taking a toll on military families with children unable to enroll in schools, spouses waiting on jobs, and officers unsure about where they will be stationed next.
A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Senator King is recognized as an authoritative voice on 21st century national security and foreign policy issues. He recently secured significant priorities in SASC’s bipartisan 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) including the largest pay raise in over 20 years for servicemembers, provisions to study the security threats posed by artificial intelligence, and additional resources to prevent illegal drugs from entering the country.