Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale meets with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Associated Press | By TARA COPP

Published

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized[1] Sunday following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue,” the Pentagon said.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Austin was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center around 2:20 p.m. He “is retaining the functions and duties of his office,” according to Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, who added that the deputy defense secretary has been notified and is prepared to assume Austin's duties “if required.”

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was also notified, as well as the White House and some members of Congress.

Ryder said Austin traveled to the hospital with the unclassified and classified communications systems needed to perform his job.

Austin was scheduled to depart Tuesday for Brussels to hold a meeting of the Ukraine contact group, which he established in 2022 to coordinate military support for Kyiv after Russia's invasion. After that, Austin was scheduled to attend a regular meeting of NATO defense ministers. It was not immediately clear if this hospitalization would change those plans.

Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer[2] in December and underwent a procedure called a prostatectomy to treat it on Dec. 22.

Over the next week, he developed complications and on Jan. 1, in extreme pain, he was taken to Walter Reed by ambulance where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.[3] Austin remained at Walter Reed until Jan. 15. He then continued to recover and work from home, and he returned to the Pentagon Jan. 29.

His doctors have previously said his prognosis against the cancer is “excellent” and that no further treatments will be needed.

Austin has gone back to Walter Reed for follow-ups since his hospitalization but this is his first unscheduled trip due to continued complications from his cancer treatments.

Austin did not tell President Joe Biden, Congress or his deputy secretary of defense, Kathleen Hicks, of his cancer diagnosis or initial hospitalization for weeks. That secrecy has become the subject of an inspector general investigation[4] and a Pentagon internal review. He has previously said he never instructed his staff to keep his hospitalization a secret.

Military Headlines[5] Lloyd Austin[6] Pentagon[7] Department of Defense - DoD[8]

© Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale meets with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized[1] again Sunday to address a bladder issue as he continues to recover from prostate cancer and has transferred authorities to his deputy, the Pentagon said.

Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December and continues to deal with complications from his treatment.

At about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, he was transported by his security detail to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center "to be seen for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue," Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.

While Austin initially intended to retain the "functions and duties of his office,” at about 5 p.m. Sunday he transferred those authorities to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. As of Sunday evening, he remained hospitalized.

A statement from Walter Reed medical officials late Sunday said Austin was admitted into the critical care unit for supportive care and close monitoring. Dr. John Maddox, the trauma medical director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research of the Murtha Cancer Center, said while it was unclear at this time how long Austin will remain hospitalized, “the current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery.”

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was notified, as well as the White House and Congress.

Austin was scheduled to depart Tuesday for Brussels to hold a meeting of the Ukraine contact group, which he established in 2022 to coordinate military support for Kyiv after Russia's invasion. After that, Austin was scheduled to attend a regular meeting of NATO defense ministers.

It was not immediately clear if this hospitalization would change those plans.

Austin was diagnosed with prostate cancer[2] in December and underwent a procedure called a prostatectomy to treat it on Dec. 22.

Over the following week, he developed complications and on Jan. 1, in extreme pain, he was taken to Walter Reed by ambulance where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.[3] Austin remained at Walter Reed until Jan. 15. He then continued to recover and work from home, and he returned to the Pentagon Jan. 29.

His doctors have previously said his prognosis against the cancer is “excellent” and that no further treatments will be needed.

Austin has gone back to Walter Reed for follow-ups since his hospitalization but this is his first unscheduled trip due to continued complications from his cancer treatments.

Austin did not tell President Joe Biden, Congress or his deputy defense secretary of his December cancer diagnosis or initial hospitalization for weeks. That secrecy[4] has become the subject of an inspector general investigation[5] and a Pentagon internal review. He has previously said he never instructed his staff to keep his hospitalization a secret.

© Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti

Military.com | By Rebecca Kheel[1]

Published

A government watchdog will probe how military families and national security were affected by last year's blockade on senior military promotions by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

The Government Accountability Office has accepted a request from two Democratic congressmen to review the short- and long-term effects of Tuberville's nearly yearlong hold on general and admiral nominees, GAO spokesperson Chuck Young confirmed Friday.

The agency expects the investigation to begin "shortly," Young added.

Read Next: Gen Z, Are You Listening? Super Bowl Eyed by Military Services Amid Recruiting Crisis[2]

From late February last year to mid-December, Tuberville prevented the Senate from quickly confirming all nominees for general and flag officers using a procedural tactic known as a hold. Tuberville's blockade was an effort to force the Pentagon to reverse its policy of covering travel expenses and providing leave for service members seeking abortions.

Eventually, more than 430 military officers were caught in Tuberville's hold, including about half of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pentagon officials and Democratic lawmakers argued the hold had cascading, harmful effects on the military, including adding stress to military families who could not plan for moves or raises that come with the promotions.

Tuberville was unmoved for months by entreaties he was harming the military, arguing Democrats could take individual roll-call votes on each nominee if they were really concerned about readiness.

But, as his Republican colleagues grew increasingly publicly frustrated at his actions and signaled they would side with Democrats to circumvent the hold, Tuberville dropped his blockade[3] despite winning no concessions from the Pentagon.

Tuberville's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday on the GAO agreeing to review the effects of the hold.

The GAO decision, which was first reported by Politico[4], comes a week after Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Robert Garcia of California requested the watchdog investigate[5].

Raskin, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, and Garcia, the ranking member of the committee's national security subcommittee, specifically asked the GAO to review what effects Tuberville's hold had on overall military readiness, national security and military families.

The lawmakers also asked the GAO to look at any processes the Pentagon uses when military promotions are stalled for indefinite and prolonged periods.

"While Sen. Tuberville's holds directly affected hundreds of senior military officials, junior officers indirectly lost the opportunity to rise in rank and gain experience," Raskin and Garcia wrote in their letter to the GAO. "Such career stagnation radiates massive effects on factors such as service member retention, pay[6], pension and future opportunities."

Related: Tuberville Blockade Finally Concludes with Confirmation of 11 Remaining Four-Star Generals and Admirals[7]

Military Headlines[8] Congress[9] Promotions[10] Politics[11] Department of Defense - DoD[12] Pentagon[13]

© Copyright 2024 Military.com. All rights reserved. This article may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without written permission. To reprint or license this article or any content from Military.com, please submit your request here[14].

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