Number of Military Veterans in Congress Declines

While some election results are not yet official, so far the number of military veterans serving in Congress has fallen in the 2016 election. In the 114th Congress, there were 81 members of the House of Representatives with military service records, but that number will be as low as 73 in the 115th Congress. Marine veteran Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) won election to the Senate and will be leaving the House. Nine representatives with military service, including former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not seek re-election this year. One incumbent, Joe Heck (R-Nev.) was defeated. Another incumbent, John Fleming (R-La.), lost a race for the Senate. Mark Takai (D-Hawaii) died of pancreatic cancer on July 20. Five military veterans were newly elected to the House, including retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), the former director of ISR strategy, plans, and doctrine for the Air Force, as well as Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Scott Taylor (R-Va.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and Anthony Brown (D-Md.). The Senate will include 21 military veterans, an increase of one from the 114th Congress. In addition to Young’s election, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) lost his seat to fellow veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who previously served in the House of Representatives.