Next Congress Includes 44 Army Veterans

Next Congress Includes 44 Army Veterans

Photo by: Architect of the Capitol

There will be 36 Army veterans in the House of Representatives and eight in the Senate when Congress convenes in January. 

The total for the 117th Congress, which convenes on Jan. 3, includes six new members of the House and one new senator who have Army experience.

Sen.-elect Roger Marshall of Kansas is a former member of the House of Representatives who served seven years in the Army Reserve. A physician, he served in the Reserve from 1984 to 1991, when he started a medical practice as an obstetrician. In the House, the Republican served on two committees, agriculture, and science, space and technology.

Sen. James Inhofe, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, is the most senior Army veteran in Congress in terms of clout, although he only served two years in the Army. Drafted in 1957, he went through boot camp at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. He was assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia, as a clerk, leaving the service as a private first class.

Incoming members of the House include Rep.-elect Darrell Issa of California, who enlisted in the Army in 1970 on his 17th birthday and served three years as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He later attended college on an ROTC scholarship and served as an officer, attaining the rank of captain.

This is the 67-year-old’s third congressional seat. The Republican now represents California’s 50th congressional district. From 2001 to 2003, he represented the 48th congressional district, and from 2003 to 2019, he represented the 49th congressional district.

Newly elected Army veterans to the House are:

Rep.-elect Barry Moore of Alabama, a former state legislator who chaired the military and veteran affairs committee in the state legislature and served in the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard over a period from 1986 to 1995. He is a Republican.

Rep.-elect Peter Meijer of Michigan is an Iraq veteran who deployed in 2010 as an NCO. The Republican served in the Army Reserve from 2008 to 2016.

Rep.-elect Troy Nehls of Texas is a retired Army Reserve major who served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Republican has 21 years of service, and his family, including his Korean War veteran father and two brothers, has a combined 90 years of service.

Rep.-elect Scott Fitzgerald of Wisconsin, a Republican, retired from the Army Reserve in 2009 as a lieutenant colonel after 27 years of service. He previously served in the Wisconsin legislature, rising to be the Senate majority leader. 

Rep.-elect Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican from Iowa, enlisted in the Army at the age of 18, with her nursing education covered by the Army. She served six years of active duty, retiring as a lieutenant colonel after a combined 24 years of active and reserve service. She met her husband, also a retired Army lieutenant colonel, while they were stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.