Over the next 10 years, he rarely put on his uniform. According to his personnel file, between January 1995 and January 2005 he received credit for a total of 108 hours of training — the equivalent of less than a day and a half per year.
During that span, however, the Air Force kept awarding him promotions. In 1998, he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Six years later, he was promoted to colonel by President George W. Bush…
Even so, Graham said his promotions to lieutenant colonel and colonel were warranted. He said he earned them primarily based on his work as a junior officer, before he became a politician, when he served as a full-time military prosecutor and defense counsel.
“I think when it came to being Colonel Graham that they looked at my entire record, and I’ll put it up against anybody who’s ever served,” he said. “I don’t mean to pat myself on the back, but I was one hell of a judge advocate.