Tag Archives: Military promotions

Bush Plans To Politicize JAG Promotions Blocked!

An attempt within the Pentagon to gain control over promotion of military judge advocates general lawyers has run into a furious roadblock in Congress with Republicans joining with Democratic members to halt this latest effort by the Bush administration to ensure military personnel do as ordered. Under the proposed plan, military promotions of members of JAG would have to be “coordinated” with civilian counsels working in the Pentagon. For promotion to flag and general officer rank, there would have to be consultation with the Defense Department general counsel. Republican Rep. Steve Byer commented “this is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard come out of the DoD general counsel. It is dead on arrival. If they enact the policy, and it appears they can, I promise we will stop it.”

Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice said the proposal was an attempt to stifle military lawyers who have criticized Bush administration policies on torture and the rights of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who once served as a military lawyer feared it would make military lawyers “looking over their shoulders” when engaged in the process of defending their clients. There is no question this end run of Bush has been halted at the beginning but it again demonstrates the president’s lack of understanding regarding the rights of those who disagree with his views on policy.

Congressional Black Caucus Feel Insulted By Military

The integration of the armed forces of the United States following World War II was among the most significant success stories of reaching affirmative action goals. However, in recent years there has been a noticeable decline in the number of top ranking officers who are of African American backgrounds. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., believes minorities are less inclined to pursue the long road to promotion than other people resulting in more leaving the service to enter the private sector. Two weeks ago, members of the Black Caucus went to the Pentagon expecting to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff only to discover they were meeting with assistants to the top leaders. The Congressmen left in anger. Apparently, there had been a miscommunication which was finally resolved this week with meeting members of the Joint Chiefs.

Congressional Black Caucus members are attempting to walk the thin line between appearing to force promotions and ensuring that promotions meet affirmative action guidelines. They are urging creation of mentors to assist young black American officers in obtaining promotions. They also are urging a faster track to higher ranks in order to persuade members of the military to remain rather than seek private sector jobs. An important issue being raised is whether the entire promotion process requires extensive review in light of current conditions.