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Army: Tillman 'would have been a fine leader'

4/29/2004 - Arizona Cardinals

PHOENIX -- Pat Tillman was promoted posthumously from
specialist to corporal after the former NFL player was killed while
serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan.

"The Army always notes that rank and promotion are not a reward
of what was done well, but a recognition that you have the
potential to do more," Army spokeswoman Martha Rudd said Thursday.
"This promotion is essentially saying he would have been a
fine leader."

Tillman, who walked away from a three-year, $3.6 million
contract offer from the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army in 2002,
was killed April 22 when the Army patrol was ambushed near the
Afghan-Pakistani border.

Rudd said the promotion for Tillman was lateral, meaning that
while the position indicates increased responsibility and
leadership, the pay scale remains the same.

Rudd said it will not affect any benefits Tillman's family receives. Both ranks are E4, or the fourth rank available for enlisted soldiers.

Although Tillman never publicly offered reasons for his
decision, several friends have said the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks affected him deeply.

Tillman was the first NFL player killed in combat since Buffalo
offensive tackle Bob Kalsu died in the Vietnam War in July 1970.
Nineteen NFL players were killed in World War II.

The Cardinals have said they will retire Tillman's No. 40 and
name the plaza surrounding the team's new stadium in suburban
Glendale the Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza.