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WASHINGTON – Legislation to grant an honorary military promotion for former U.S. Senator Bob Dole is one step closer to becoming law, after the U.S. Senate passed S. 252. U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) introduced this legislation in January to authorize the honorary promotion of Bob Dole to the grade of colonel in the U.S. Army.

“I can think of no one more worthy of an honorary promotion to the rank of colonel in the United States Army than Senator Bob Dole, who has for decades served our country with the utmost distinction,” said Sen. Moran. “From his time in the military and in Congress, to his continued leadership on veterans, hunger and disability issues, he is a true model of public service for Kansans and all Americans. It is only fitting that Senator Dole be promoted for his exemplary service and sacrifice as an Army officer and I am pleased that the United States Senate unanimously agrees.”

“Senator Bob Dole is an American hero and Kansas’ favorite son. I’m proud my colleagues in the Senate acted quickly to pass this important legislation, which will give Senator Dole the military promotion he has earned during his decades of service to our country,” said Sen. Roberts. “I urge the U.S. House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead in passing this legislation.”

Sens. Moran and Roberts introduced this legislation after an Army advisory panel reviewed Dole’s service to the Armed Forces, veterans and the national security of the United States in 2018 and recommended Dole receive an honorary promotion from captain to colonel. The Secretary of the Army endorsed this recommendation and forwarded it to Congress for further action.

“There are few Americans who have compiled such a record of leadership and achievement in both war and peace as has Sen. Bob Dole,” said Secretary of the Army Mark Esper. “This promotion is in recognition of the Army’s continued appreciation for Senator Dole’s bravery, service and lifelong commitment to improving the lives of men and women in uniform.”

“Bob Dole’s legacy of valor in combat and lifelong career of selfless service to the nation represents the highest ideals and values of the Army as well as the Greatest Generation,” said Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley.

Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-01) introduced a companion bill earlier this year, which awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It was really good to see the Senate take swift action on this,” said Congressman Marshall. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honorary promotion than Kansas’ finest, Senator Dole. I now call on the House to honor his exemplary service and sacrifices to this country and pass this legislation.”

Dole enrolled in the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps in 1942 while he was a student at the University of Kansas. He was called to active duty the following year and served in World War II. While deployed to Italy as an infantry lieutenant, he was seriously wounded in combat and was twice cited for acts of heroism under fire. He finished his military service with two Purple Hearts and two awards of the Bronze Star Medal with “v” device for valor. He was also awarded the American Campaign medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal and the World War II Victory medal.

Following his military service, Dole was elected to Congress where he served from 1961 to 1969. He was then elected to the Senate where he served from 1969 until 1996.

Dole received the Congressional Gold Medal last year, after all 100 United States Senators cosponsored legislation for this award. Senator Dole is only the 8th senator to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1997.

This honorary promotion will have no cost to taxpayers.


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