A second retired command sergeant major who served alongside Gov. Tim Walz in the National Guard is speaking out, saying the governor “left his troops high and dry” before a deployment to Iraq.
Paul Herr served in the military for 34 years in a variety of positions — as an engineer on active duty, to a tanker and first sergeant, and eventually as a command sergeant major who was deployed to Iraq in 2011 and retired in 2015. He joined Liz Collin on her podcast this week for an extensive interview.
Herr is the second whistleblower to come forward to shed light on Walz’s military record, joining Tom Behrends, who shared his story last week. According to Behrends, a warning order went out to Walz’s First Battalion-125th Field Artillery to mobilize for a mission to Iraq back in early 2005.
At the time, Herr said he participated in several meetings with Walz, who initially indicated he would be going on the deployment. However, Walz retired before the time came to deploy, and Behrends took Walz’s place.
According to Herr, Walz had been conditionally promoted to the rank of command sergeant major (CSM) before the deployment but never actually finished the requirements to call himself a CSM.
Herr predicts Walz fulfilled, “literally boots-on-the-ground time spent as a CSM,” about 14 days total in meetings and other service duties.
Before the deployment, Herr was privy to conversations that made sense only later.
“[Walz is] talking, he’s making comments to other CSMs in the room that, ‘Yeah, I really appreciate this … I have a really good chance of winning this seat,’” Herr said, referring to Walz’s successful 2006 run for Congress.
“And I didn’t put any of that together until we showed up for a meeting one time later down the road, and Tom Behrends was sitting in the room as CSM,” he said.
Other battalion sergeant majors were also unaware of the switch until that day.
“We found out then that Gov. Walz had disappeared, retired out, and basically left his troops high and dry … leaderless,” Herr said.
Herr called Walz a “habitual liar,” someone who will “say anything to anybody to make it sound like he’s going to do the best thing for you.”
On his campaign website, Walz uses the title of command sergeant major. While this is “technically” true, according to Herr, he thinks it’s meant to mislead people. Walz did serve as a CSM, but he was demoted to an E-8 master sergeant after retirement because he didn’t complete all the requirements of the CSM rank.
Walz sees the military as a “voting bloc” today, Herr thinks, and he does and says things “basically to garner votes.”
He recently promoted bonuses for veterans who served in post-9/11 combat, for instance. Herr commented that the timing of this is “suspect,” considering Walz has been in office for “a long while” and the election is now just under two months away.
It’s frustrating for Herr, who was a command sergeant major for 11 years, to hear Walz use the CSM title to “get credibility with the military and with the public.”
“He uses a mythical rank that he wasn’t allowed to retire with, that he never enrolled into the academy [for],” Herr said.
“It speaks to integrity and honor. You have a man sitting in the office, sitting in that seat as governor of the state of Minnesota. He’s lied to the public, he continues to lie to feather his own bed,” Herr continued.
Herr also discussed Walz’s response to the George Floyd riots in 2020 and his COVID-19 policies.
Walz cited his National Guard experience to justify his decisions during the riots but made statements that were nowhere “near to being true,” Herr said.
“He’ll say, ‘I was in the guard, you can’t just call up the guard,’ or he’ll say, ‘Well, I’ll call the guard, but you’re just gonna get a bunch of 19-year-old cooks.’ Neither one of those statements is anywhere near to being true,” Herr said.
Herr said, for the most part, people are thanking Behrends for coming forward.
“I would like to see [Walz] just take credit for the service that he did, quit trying to ride the shirttails and coattails of the sergeant majors that actually did the work,” he said.
A spokesperson for Walz previously said this topic has been covered before and referred Alpha News to a past story where Walz said “normally this type of partisan political attack only comes from one who’s never worn a uniform.”