WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kansas First District Congressman Roger Marshall in the House Tuesday introduced legislation to authorize the honorary promotion of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole to the grade of colonel in the U.S. Army. Meanwhile, Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran submitted the same legislation on the Senate side.
“Senator Bob Dole embodies what it means to be a Kansan and an American,” Marshall said. “He has dedicated his entire life to this country and our state. There is absolutely no man more deserving of this honorary promotion than Senator Dole. He has been a champion for our military and has the full support of the Kansas delegation and the U.S. Army.”
“Kansas’ favorite son, Senator Bob Dole, is a true American hero and has earned this honorary promotion to colonel by his countless acts of valor and contributions to the U.S. military during his time at war and later while serving in Congress,” said Sen. Roberts. “Senator Dole has always been an advocate for our men and women in uniform, and I’m proud to introduce this legislation to honor him with the promotion, which he has more than earned throughout his decades of service.”
“I can think of no one more worthy of an honorary promotion to the rank of colonel in the United States Army than my good friend and mentor, Sen. Bob Dole,” 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 Sen. Dole be promoted for his exemplary service and sacrifice as an Army officer.”
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 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.
Marshall, Roberts and Moran 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. Secretary of the Army Robert M. Speer endorsed this recommendation and forwarded it to Congress for further action. This honorary promotion will have no cost to taxpayers.