The Truth About Tim Walz

Tim Walz has embellished and selectively omitted facts and circumstances of his military career for years.

We, retired Command Sergeants Major of the Minnesota National Guard, feel it is our duty and responsibility to bring forth the truth as we know it concerning his service record. So, we have put together a timeline of his service post 9/11. To the best of our knowledge, this information is completely true, having been verified by all those who served in positions with first hand knowledge of the facts and circumstances of his service and departure from the Minnesota National Guard. Many of the dates and time frames are from his official discharge document and the reduction order reducing him to Master Sergeant.

On September 18th, 2001 Tim Walz reenlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard for six years.

In early 2003 he was selected to attend the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. The non-resident course consists of two years of correspondence coursework, followed by a two-week resident phase at Fort Bliss, Texas. When a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer accepts enrollment in the course, they accept three stipulations. First, they will serve for two years after graduation from the academy, or promotion to Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major, whichever is later. Second, if they fail the course they may be separated from the military. Third, they will complete the course or be reduced to Master Sergeant without board action. Senior Non-Commissioned Officers initial and sign a Statement of Agreement and Certification upon enrollment. The State Command Sergeant Major or Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major counsels the soldier and certifies that the senior Non-Commissioned Officer understands their responsibilities. These stipulations are put in place because the academy is a college level school, the military invests a lot of taxpayer money in the student. The military needs to ensure they will get the return on investment that the taxpayers deserve.

In late summer of 2003, First Sergeant Walz deployed with the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Italy. The mission was to augment United States Air Force Europe Security Forces doing base security for six months. In no way were the units or Soldiers of the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion replacing any units or military forces so they could deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.

After the units return to Minnesota in the spring of 2004, he was selected by high level Command Sergeants Major to serve in the position of the Command Sergeant Major of the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion.

On August 5th, 2004 he was photographed holding a sign at a protest outside a President Bush campaign rally in southern Minnesota.

On September 17th, 2004 he was conditionally promoted to Command Sergeant Major. The conditions had been outlined to him when he was counseled and he signed the Statement of Agreement and Certification. If the conditions are not met, the promotion is null and void, like it never happened.

In early 2005, a warning order was issued to the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion, which included the position he was serving in, to prepare to be mobilized for active duty for a deployment to Iraq.

On May 16th, 2005 he quit, leaving the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion and its Soldiers hanging; without its senior Non-Commissioned Officer, as the battalion prepared for war. His excuse to other leaders was that he needed to retire in order to run for congress. Which is false, according to a Department of Defense Directive, he could have run and requested permission from the Secretary of Defense before entering active duty; as many reservists have. If he had retired normally and respectfully, you would think he would have ensured his retirement documents were correctly filled out and signed, and that he would have ensured he was reduced to Master Sergeant for dropping out of the academy. Instead he waited for the paperwork to catch up to him. His official retirement document states, SOLDIER NOT AVAILABLE FOR SIGNATURE.

On September 10th, 2005 conditionally promoted Command Sergeant Major Walz was reduced to Master Sergeant. It took a while for the system to catch up to him as it was uncharted territory, literally no one quits in the position he was in, or drops out of the academy. Except him.

In November of 2005, while the battalion trained for war at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, it received an offer from retired Master Sergeant Walz. He offered to fund raise for the battalions bus trip home over Christmas that year.

The 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion was deployed for 22 months in 2006 - 2007. During this time, they were restricted by Army regulations and could not speak out against a candidate for office. In November 2006 he was elected to the House of Representatives. He claims to be the highest-ranking enlisted service member ever to serve in congress. Even though he was conditionally promoted to Command Sergeant Major less than eight months, quit before his obligations were met, and was reduced to Master Sergeant for retirement. Yes, he served at that rank, but was never qualified at that rank, and will receive retirement benefits at one rank below. You be the judge.

On November 1st, 2006, Tom Hagen, Iraq War Veteran, wrote a letter to the editor of the Winona Daily News. Here are a couple of sentences from the letter: But even more disturbing is the fact that Walz quickly retired after learning that his unit -southern Minnesota's 1-125 FA Battalion - would be sent to Iraq. For Tim Walz to abandon his fellow soldiers and quit when they needed experienced leadership most is disheartening.

Here is part of Tim Walzs response: After completing 20 years of service in 2001, I re-enlisted to serve our country for an additional four years following Sept. 11 and retired the year before my battalion was deployed to Iraq in order to run for Congress.

According to his official Report of Separation and Record of Service, he re-enlisted for six years on September 18th, 2001. However, in his response he says that he re-enlisted for four years, conveniently retiring a year before his battalion was deployed to Iraq. Even if he had re-enlisted for four years following Sept.11, his retirement date would have been September 18th, 2005. Why then did he "retire" on May 16th, 2005, before his supposed four-year enlistment was up? And he makes it sound like he "retired" a year before his battalion deployed to Iraq; when in reality he knew when he "retired" that the battalion would be deployed to Iraq.

The bottom line in all of this is gut wrenching and sad to explain. When the nation called, he quit. He failed to complete the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. He failed to serve for two years following completion of the academy, which he dropped out of. He failed to serve two years after the conditional promotion to Command Sergeant Major. He failed to fulfill the full six years of the enlistment he signed on September 18th, 2001. He failed his country. He failed his state. He failed the Minnesota Army National Guard, the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion, and his fellow Soldiers. And he failed to lead by example. Shameful.

Thomas Behrends

Command Sergeant Major (Retired)

Paul Herr

Command Sergeant Major (Retired)

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.