US Marines without a commander for the first time in more than 100 years


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Abroad Blockade in the Senate

US Marines without a commander for the first time in more than 100 years

Marines during an exercise in Thailand

Marines during an exercise in Thailand

Quelle: pa/ Pongsapipatt

The US Marine Corps has no commander for the first time since 1911. The previous commander has resigned as planned – and a Republican senator is refusing to confirm his successor. The background is a controversy over abortion.

EFor the first time in more than 100 years, the US Marines have no Senate-appointed commander. The previous commander of the US military, David Berger, resigned on Monday. However, a Republican senator, Tommy Tuberville, is blocking the confirmation of his successor – namely in the dispute over abortion.

The background to this is Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s decision that the Pentagon would pay for travel expenses for abortions if a soldier is unable to perform such an operation in her own state and has to travel to another. Tuberville represents conservative Alabama in the Senate, where abortion is now banned.

Tuberville’s protest at Austin is also likely to delay Army, Navy and Air Force confirmation processes this year and possibly even the succession to Chief of Staff Mark Milley at the end of September. However, the blockade also affects dozens of officers who have been assigned new commands but cannot take up their duties and therefore cannot move with their families over the summer holidays.

Promotion held up by 265 officers so far

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Monday Tuberville has already stopped the promotions of 265 officers. By the end of the year it could be 650 if nothing is done. The previous deputy, Eric Smith, will assume command of the Marines on an interim basis.

But without confirmation from the Senate, he can’t assume some of the commander’s duties. The last time such a situation existed in the US Marine Corps was for a few months between November 1910 and February 1911, when a commander retired before his successor was promoted and could officially take office.

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