The military service of Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., came under scrutiny Saturday after a Salon report revealed he did not serve as a U.S. Army Ranger.

Cotton’s 2012 campaign for Congress focused heavily on how he "Volunteered to be an Army Ranger," which identifies soldiers who served with the 75th Regiment based out of Fort Benning, Georgia.

In order to be considered part of the 75th Ranger Regiment as an Army Ranger, one must pass 1, 2 or both of the “Ranger Assessment Selection Program.” Cotton didn’t pass any of the programs, rather he attended the U.S. Army Ranger School, which is a roughly eight-week leadership course.

Cotton can be seen with a “Ranger” tab on his Army uniform but he was never pictured wearing a tan beret, which soldiers are allowed to wear after completing the eight-week selection process. 

The Salon report created a buzz on social media, as many took exception to Cotton stretching the truth.

The 43-year-old did serve eight years in the army and served two tours in Iraq and Afganistan. He earned several medals, including a Bronze Star.

Cotton's communications director Caroline Tabler said, “Senator Cotton graduated from Ranger school, earned the Ranger Tab, and served in a combat tour with the 101st Airborne, not the 75th Regiment." 

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