Katherine Kuzminski, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank who researches military culture and family issues, told Military.com in an interview Tuesday that Tuberville's letter of support from veterans still doesn't absolve him of using the military for a political end.
"Even with these letters of support for Tuberville from veteran organizations, it's completely misguided with respect to how civil-military operations function," Kuzminski said. "It's not fair to use uniformed service members as a hostage negotiation tactic."
The joint opinion piece from the service secretaries is notable, according to Kuzminski. The last time the Army, Air Force and Navy civilian leaders shared an opinion piece together was in October, when they called on young Americans to join the military in the pages of The Wall Street Journal as all three services faced historically low recruiting numbers.
Kuzminski said the holdup also sends a message to lower-ranking officers and enlisted service members that their jobs and futures could be used as bargaining chips.
"If you hold this up long enough, it's every single nomination all the way down the line, which is your entire officer corps," Kuzminski added. "And because it's a closed system, your entire officer corps for the next 40 years is affected by the decisions that are happening today."
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