military

Senate votes to expand Shiloh National Military Park

Press release from Sen. Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the Senate’s passage of his bill to expand the Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh, Tennessee, will help attract more visitors to Tennessee, boost local economies, and protect the site for future generations.

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Seven deceased Tennessee soldiers, some long unidentified, honored in governor’s Memorial Day service

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee Military Department Adjutant General, Major General Terry “Max” Haston paid tribute to seven service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the state’s Memorial Day service. (held Friday).

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TN National Guardsman dies in training accident

Press release from Tennessee National Guard 

Fort Irwin, Calif.—The Tennessee National Guard has suffered a fatality at the National Training Center.  Private First Class Tara Turnage of Memphis, Tenn. was killed Monday morning in an accident at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.

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TN National Guard disapproves of taking oath of office with a dinosaur puppet

Excerpt from a Washington Post article:

It’s unclear why Master Sgt. Robin Brown, a public affairs officer with the Tennessee Air National Guard, recited her oath of re-enlistment last week using a dinosaur puppet. Or why the colonel conducting the ceremony allowed her to do so, stifling his laughter as the puppet mouthed the oath.

But the two have been let go from the Guard after a video of the incident went viral, garnering about 2.4 million views on Facebook by Wednesday (Facebook Post HERE) and upsetting many in the military community who felt Brown and the colonel’s actions were disrespectful. Brown has been removed from her full-time job with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office and the yet-to-be-identified colonel has been demoted and immediately retired, according to Army Maj. Gen. Terry Haston, the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard.

National Guard Uses Dino Puppet During Oath

This member of the National Guard lost her title after she used a dinosaur hand puppet to take her official oath

Posted by NowThis on Thursday, April 19, 2018

Green Beret Democrat campaigns via surrogates in 7th Congressional District

Matt Reel, a Democrat seeking the 7th Congressional District nomination, is on active duty with the Green Berets until this summer and is campaigning for now through surrogates including former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis. But his campaign has put out an online ‘introductory’ video.

An opponent in the Democratic primary is Justin Kanew, a film writer and producer from Williamson County. On the Republican side, state Sen. Mark Green is seeking nomination to the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackurn, who is running for the U.S. Senate rather than seeking reelection.

The Reel video is HERE; a press release below.

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Corker holds hearing on use of nuclear weapons

Just a month after he warned that President Trump may be setting the nation on the path to World War III, Sen. Bob Corker will preside Tuesday over a hearing that will examine the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike, reports Michael Collins.

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Tribute paid to five servicemen who made ‘ultimate sacrifice’ in TN Memorial Day ceremony

News release from state Department of Veterans Affairs

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee Military Department Adjutant General, Major General Terry “Max” Haston paid tribute to five service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the state’s Memorial Day service today.

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Sen. Richard Briggs jumps out of an airplane (video)

(with a fellow from the Army’s Golden Knights)

Green withdraws as Trump’s nominee for U.S. Army secretary

Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green has announced he is withdrawing President Donald Trump’s nominee to become Secretary of the Army, blaming the “distraction” caused by “false” attacks on his religious beliefs.

Green, a physician and former Army flight surgeon who lives in Clarksville, had declared himself a candidate for the Republican governor’s nomination in 2018, but put campaigning on hold after Trump nominated him to succeed Eric Fanning as Army secretary. Fanning, serving under President Barack Obama, was the first openly gay military service secretary.

From the Times-Free Press report:

“Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain,” Green said in a statement.

“While these false attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world.”

…He noted he and his wife, Camie, “look forward to finding other opportunities to use our gifts to serve others and help Make America Great Again.”

There was no specific comment as to whether he would restart his gubernatorial campaign.

From the Washington Post report:

Green pulled out after a month of calls for the Trump administration to choose someone else. Advocacy groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people immediately launched an effort on Capitol Hill to block his nomination after it was announced April 7, saying his history of antagonism toward them made him an unacceptable choice.

… Among the comments that drew concern were Green saying last fall that if psychiatrists were polled, they would say that “transgender is a disease.” He added that while most millennials accept transgender people, he wanted to be a “light” that set the record straight.

“If you really want to bring this back to who’s at fault, I mean we’ve got to look a little bit inwardly,” he said. “I mean, we’ve tolerated immorality and we’re not reflecting light.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations also opposed Green’s nomination, citing an appearance before the Chattanooga Tea Party last fall in which Green said that “we will not tolerate” teaching the “pillars of Islam” in textbooks. At that same event, Green responded to a man who said he was concerned about an armed insurrection by people who “don’t belong here, like Muslims in the United States” by saying he’d asked a “great question.”

… Green’s withdrawal marks the latest chapter in the White House’s ongoing turmoil as it tries to fill senior civilian positions at the Pentagon. He was selected after President Trump’s first Army secretary nominee, Vincent Viola, withdrew from consideration in February. Viola, a former Army officer who went on to become a billionaire on Wall Street, cited the complications of getting through the Pentagon’s conflict-of-interest rules.

A nominee for Navy secretary, Philip M. Bilden, also withdrew from consideration in February, facing difficulties similar to Viola’s. No replacement has been named.

…Several U.S. senators this week signaled opposition to Green becoming Army secretary, including Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Charles E. Schumer (D.-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

Schumer said in a statement that Green’s decision to withdraw is good news for all Americans, “especially those who were personally vilified by his disparaging comments toward the LGBTQ community, Muslim community, Latino community and more.” The senator credited advocacy groups with prompting Green to withdraw and said that he hopes Trump will select someone who can represent everyone in the Army.

From The Tennessean’s report:

Congressional Republicans from Green’s home state focused on praising their fellow Tennessean for his service, rather than directly acknowledging any controversy related to his nomination.

“Mark Green has served his country with distinction,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn said in a statement. “He has served his state with honor. I respect his decision to withdraw his nomination and look forward to his continued service in our community.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander also said he respected the decision, but expressed some disappointment that Green didn’t get the nomination.

“This would have been an opportunity for the Army to benefit from his leadership skills, military experience and dedication to service members,” his statement said.

Sen. Bob Corker said he spoke with Green on Friday afternoon to thank him for his willingness to serve and for his commitment to public service.

“Although he has withdrawn from the process, I have no doubt that he will continue to find ways to serve our country and state,” Corker’s statement read.

CNN says Green nomination may be withdrawn; 11 U.S. House Republicans back him

With growing opposition to state Sen. Mark Green’s nomination as U.S. Army secretary and CNN reporting it might be withdrawn, Tennessee’s Republican U.S. House members have come to his support.

From CNN:

Mark Green, Trump’s second pick to be Army secretary, is facing what the sources described as a difficult — if not insurmountable — path to confirmation amid a backlash over his controversial statements on LGBT issues, Islam and evolution.

The sources said that Green’s withdrawal is not finalized, but it’s unlikely he would go forward because “there are questions whether he has enough support from either side of the aisle” to get confirmed, according to one source.

Darren Morris, a political adviser to Green, said the notion he was withdrawing was “completely, absolutely untrue,” and that he’s prepping for the confirmation hearing this week in Washington.

One source said that Green’s politics were “good for the state Senate in Tennessee, not so much to follow a gay Secretary of the Army that Obama had,” a reference to former President Barack Obama’s last Army Secretary, Eric Fanning, the first openly gay person to serve in that role.

From Michael Collins:

“It is our firm belief that confirmation of Mark E. Green to serve as secretary of the Army will only enhance America’s warfighting capability and build on the mutual trust that exists between soldiers and their leaders,” the group (of 11 House Republicans) wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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