Democratic candidate for Congress Kenneth Aden's purported background as a Green Beret should be an asset in the veteran-filled 3rd congressional district in Arkansas, but there's just one problem -- he's never been a Green Beret.
On multiple occasions, Aden has claimed that he is a veteran of the elite group of the U.S. Army. In February, for example, Aden told a reporter about his military record: "I served in the Army. I finished up my time, my tour of duty with, you know, Green Berets, special forces."
But a recent investigation by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found that Aden's military records "indicate he washed out of Special Forces training, not once but three times." In other words, Aden never met the qualifications to become a Green Beret.
"I am a Special Forces-qualified soldier," Aden insisted in a phone interview with the paper. "I completed the entire course." But he conceded that he did not have the paperwork to prove it.
"He is not a Green Beret," said a spokesperson for the Special Warfare Center, which is in charge of Special Forces training for the U.S. Army, according to the Democrat-Gazette.
While Aden did serve for more than a decade in the Army, his military record will now likely become an electoral liability rather than an advantage.
And even before these allegations surfaced, Aden faced a challenging race in Arkansas. The state's 3rd district is overwhelmingly Republican, and GOP incumbent Steve Womack won with 65 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm elections.
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