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Congressman Heck is now General Heck

WASHINGTON — Congressman Joe Heck acquired a new title on Wednesday — brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve.

The Senate approved Heck’s promotion to one-star general. The two-term lawmaker from Southern Nevada has coupled careers in the military, politics and in medicine where he is an osteopath and emergency room physician. He is a medical adviser to the chief of the Army Reserve and deputy commander of the Atlanta-based 3rd Medical Command.

Heck had no immediate comment on the promotion, which would become official upon a swearing-in. He was recommended for the bump in May 2013 but it became stalled within the military by what Heck characterized as a matter of bureaucracy. He joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1991 and was called to active duty three times, most recently to Iraq in 2008.

Heck’s advancement was approved by the Senate as part of routine approval of military promotions. About 65,000 such promotions are referred to the Senate each session and many are approved hundreds at a time.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Heck adds to the military expertise in Congress.

“Many people lean on him for advice in order to gain a better understanding of issues affecting the military,” Heller said Wednesday night.

Of the 12,098 individuals who have served in Congress since the first session in 1789, a handful have achieved general’s rank, according to research by the Senate librarian. A number of early lawmakers were generals during the American Revolution.

More recently, Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, became a brigadier general in the Utah Air National Guard while serving as senator during the 1970s.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.

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