GOP Candidate Suggested He Saw Combat When He Didn't

Tyler Kistner
During his first run for Congress in 2020, Republican nominee Tyler Kistner of Minnesota repeatedly claimed to have seen combat in the Marine Corps, but records show this is not true. Now the Republican trying to unseat the state's first LGBTQ+ member of Congress, Rep. Angie Craig, is trying to explain the discrepancy.
A spokesman for Kistner said he was referring to the time when he led combat operations in North Africa's non-combat region, advising and assisting partner forces against violent extremist organizations, reports the Minnesota Reformer.
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As the outlet noted, he would have received a combat action ribbon if he had fought in battle; However, he never received one. Military definitions of combat include engagement against a grounded enemy in a combat zone.
Progressive veterans group VoteVets called on local TV stations to remove ads claiming Kistner had served in four combat missions.
The group, which supports Craig in the upcoming election, has asked KARE, KSTP, KMSP, WCCO and several streaming services to remove the ads, according to Reformer. VoteVets said Kistner completed four overseas voyages in uncontested territories like Japan and Korea, not four combat missions. The Congressional Leadership Fund paid for the ad to run between September 11 and September 29.
The Reformer reports that Kistner's military record was also controversial in 2020, when he lost to Craig by two points.
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In a speech to the GOP convention, Kistner called himself the most decorated military person in the race. However, Kistner's Republican opponent, Air Force Lt. Col. Erika Cashin, demanded that he turn over a copy of his DD214 form, which shows whether he served in the armed struggle.
Kistner initially refused, citing confidentiality reasons, claiming to the American newspaper Prior Lake that "even basic details could help foreign opponents".
After other candidates requested the documents, Kistner relented. He shared the documents with supporters in 2020 and claimed he never claimed to be a combat veteran. The reformer reports that his DD214 indicates he was honorably discharged from the army with the rank of captain, but did not reflect combat action.
Angie Craig
American politician

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