Richard Nixon, Walter B. Jones Jr, Mark Amodei, Rebecca “Mikie” Sherrill… What do these individuals, some better known than the others yet still equally brave and dedicated to serving their country, have in common? They had all proudly served in the military and then embarked on a new career path in politics.
Running for a public office requires a great deal of discipline, energy, and commitment – all of these qualities are easy to find in US former service personnel. Still, when thinking about politicians, some people tend to forget about our nation’s veterans. Out of 435 current voting representatives, only 76 members are veterans.
Thus, it’s safe to say that America needs more veterans in congress, as they are the people who know best what it means to serve your country. This awareness, combined with the desire to improve and transform their communities, excellent leadership skills, and a strong sense of loyalty and patriotism, makes veterans the most adequate candidates.
Here’s why the US political scene can benefit from an increased presence of ex-military personnel.
Vets Have Excellent Leadership Skills
In the warzone, it’s leadership that often dictates whether people will make it out alive. During their military service, many men and women endure life-threatening situations on a daily basis and need to stay calm and collected in order to get through these challenges. The higher their rank, the more responsibilities fall on their shoulders, and they all find their reflection in the growing leadership skills that, once the service is over, can be applied in virtually any workplace.
The experience from the military can transfer well into the political scene, as both these environments are filled with high-stress situations that tend to change dynamically and often require an almost immediate response. The military presents young and ambitious people with endless leadership opportunities — after all, it would be hard to find another environment where twenty somethings can give orders to their own teams that rely on them in action.
Being a leader is never easy. It comes with its own set of unique challenges, such as the need to inspire others, having to handle different perspectives, and being under constant pressure. Officials who have been elected have to be able to handle the stress and lead others with the highest confidence. Veterans not only have the necessary experience but also represent all the important virtues, such as fidelity and integrity.
Vets Serve the Greater Good
One of the first things that the brave individuals who join the military do is swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This means that they not only focus on the potential dangers that can be found outside their homeland but are also committed to protecting it from those whose ill intentions might undermine the country from the inside.
Even after their military service ends, veterans still go above and beyond to improve their communities and motivate others. They serve as living examples of incredible courage and honor — qualities that inspire and allow others to look up to the vets who decide to continue serving their country after concluding their military careers.
Vets Are Loyal Patriots
The calling to service can arise from many different reasons, including patriotic family values, the desire to do something meaningful, or a direct call to action. Countless veterans signed up for the army in the first place and felt a sense of duty after important historic events, such as the September 11 attack, a watershed moment in America’s approach to terrorism.
Veterans are not self-serving people who focus solely on their personal goals and what they can gain from a career in politics. Past military experiences prove a great degree of loyalty and dedication to serving their homeland, making veterans perfect candidates for politicians.
Vets Can Provide a Different Perspective
Veterans go through situations that cannot be replicated in the lives of regular civilians. Elected officials with combat experience can shed a new and completely different light on important subjects, such as the country’s spending on the military or the issues surrounding US foreign policy in the international arena.
Additionally, veterans can boast an expanded worldview that enables them to see the potential for growth and contribution in themselves as well as in others. They make for fair leaders whose experience can prove to be incredibly valuable, especially on a local level.
There are more parallels between military service and a career in politics than you’d think. Veterans who turn into politicians appreciate the teamwork and leadership they gained during their service. In the warzone, there’s no sitting around or doing things just by yourself — to achieve the common goals, one often needs to take the lead or understand that everything is a team effort.
Besides their excellent leadership skills, vets can also bring a completely different, unique perspective to the political table. They are able to see beyond their own good, and they’re loyal patriots who are ready to serve the people of their country in the best way possible.