My entire life I’ve been taught that part of leadership means taking responsibility when mistakes are made, it’s something I feel very deeply. So today I am writing to express regret for how my campaign characterized my status in the Army Reserve and attempt to explain how such an error could even be possible.
From 1981 to 1989 I proudly served in the U.S. Army on active duty as a military intelligence officer and was part of the elite infantry division of the Army Rangers.
From 1989 to 1992 I then served in the active Army Reserve that involves regular drilling and communication with the military.
In 1992 I then became part of the inactive portion of the Reserve that involves no regular communication with the military.
From that point forward, until the news of this past week, I truly believed I was in the inactive Reserve and had no reason to believe that my status had changed. What I have now been informed is that at some point in 2001 I should have received a letter informing me of my official discharge. Not only do I believe I never received that letter, but even when my campaign requested my full military records earlier this year, there was no such note of discharge included.
Does this make it excusable that our campaign website and some printed materials read “currently a Major in the Army Reserve” instead of “was a Major in the Army Reserve”? Of course not.
But while I am both remorseful and frankly embarrassed that an error like this occurred, at the same time I remain incredibly proud of my 20 years of service to our country. I also remain proud of all the amazing efforts I have been a part of in our community, both through my work in business and the public service arena.
During the course of the campaign I have had the pleasure to meet many of you and hear your thoughts on how state government in Richmond could be doing more to make all our lives better. I believe my life’s work will allow me to go to Richmond and get things done for Virginia Beach, I hope as you get to know me you’ll agree.