When he’s not working to endanger national security, Tommy Tuberville is apparently lying about details of his dad’s military record.
The Alabama Republican has long praised his father’s record serving in World War II. But a new analysis by The Washington Post shows that the Senator may have made false claims about the extent of his father’s service.
Tuberville says his father lied about his birthday to enlist at age 16 and then went on to become a tank commander who earned five Bronze Stars, landed at Normandy Beach on D-Day, and drove a tank through Paris when U.S. forces freed the city from Nazi control. While there is no question that Tuberville’s father served in WWII, it is unlikely—and in some cases impossible—that he achieved everything else Tuberville brags about.
Charles Tuberville was born on July 16, 1925. His draft registration card shows he submitted it on July 16, 1943—his eighteenth birthday. His tombstone lists his highest rank as technician fifth grade (TEC 5). This rank indicates technical skills, not combat leadership. He reportedly was only a corporal, not a sergeant (the minimum rank to be a tank commander). While it is possible he could have filled in for a tank commander, it is unlikely that he was regularly in that position.
Charles Tuberville also did not earn five Bronze Stars. No after-action reports mention that he earned the award given for “heroic or meritorious achievement or service” in combat, nor is it mentioned on his tombstone or in his widow’s obituary. A photo of him shows that he earned five Bronze Service Stars, which show that a soldier was physically present during a particular military campaign.
It is also impossible for Charles Tuberville to have driven a tank through Paris on the day it was liberated. After-action reports for his tank battalion show they were about 90 miles away from the city at the time.
While it is possible that Charles Tuberville participated in D-Day, it’s unclear whether he actually did. He is only reported to have been overseas starting the day after D-Day, something that Tommy Tuberville has said himself.
It’s not surprising that Tommy Tuberville misrepresented parts of his father’s service record, because it makes the senator look more heroic by association. It also helps distract from his ongoing efforts to wreck the military’s readiness.
Tuberville has blocked hundreds of military promotions since March, in objection to the Defense Department’s policy of reimbursing travel costs for service members who need to travel for an abortion. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has warned that Tuberville’s blockade “harms America’s national security” and poses a “clear risk” to the military’s readiness.
Tuberville has actually done very little to support the military, despite his purported passion for the institution. During his campaign for Senate, Tuberville promised to donate “every dime I make when I’m in Washington, D.C.” to veterans in his home state. He has yet to do so.
He has also said that white nationalists are not racist and should be allowed to serve in the military, despite the fact that the very definition of white nationalism involves being racist and the Department of Defense has made great efforts to eradicate extremism from the ranks.