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Former Sen. Bob Dole gets honorary promotion to Colonel from Trump

Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth (Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Department of Defense)
April 10, 2019

Former Senator and 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole received an honorary promotion for his service in World War II when President Trump authorized Dole’s title to Captain from Colonel this week.

The House of Representatives unanimously approved the legislation in March after it passed through the Senate, all agreeing that 95-year-old Dole was deserving of the promotion for his World War II service, which Trump signed into law on Monday, ABC reported.

Dole said on Monday, “It is, of course, an honor for me personally. Many of my comrades in the 10th Mountain Division never made it back here after World War II. While the wounds I sustained were life-changing, I’ve never forgotten those brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless our men and women in uniform.”

Dole registered for the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps in 1942 when he was a student at the University of Kansas. In 1943, he was called to active duty.

In 1945, he was serving as a 10th Mountain Division infantry lieutenant in Italy when he was wounded by German machine gun fire. Since the injury, he has only partial use of his right arm and limited feeling in his left arm.

He was awarded two Purple Hearts and twice awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.

Dole’s promotion was strongly supported by Sen. Pat Roberts who introduced the bill and was co-sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran, both from Dole’s home state of Kansas.

“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. Senator Dole has always been an advocate for our men and women in uniform, and I’m proud the president signed this legislation to honor Dole with the promotion, which he has more than earned throughout his decades of service,” Sen. Roberts said on Monday.

“I was proud to wear our nation’s uniform 77 years ago when I enlisted, and my pride in America’s brave servicemen and women continues today,” Dole said in March when the bill passed, according to

Dole has managed to stay out of the public eye except when he stood up from his wheelchair in December to salute the casket of former President George H.W. Bush.

In 2018, the President awarded Dole — who served 35 years representing Kansas in the U.S. House and Senate — with the highest honor bequeathed by Congress: the Congressional Gold Medal.

Trump called Dole a “great American” at the ceremony.