Meet The 10 Veterans Newly Elected To Congress

Army veteran Brian Mast was elected the Republican Representative of Florida’s 18th District.
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There’s no question that the military molds ordinary citizens into incredible leaders, and it appears the rest of the country has begun to recognize that, too.

At least 27 post-9/11 veterans won congressional races on Nov. 8, while the current Congress includes 26 veterans. In addition, as of now, 18 veteran incumbents won reelection and three senators were not up for reelection this year. There are, however, still handful of races that have run-offs as you can see from this chart drawn up by Military Times.

As of now, the following 10 veterans have been newly elected to Congress.

Don Bacon, Republican Representative of Nebraska's 2nd District

After almost 30 years in the Air Force, Bacon now works as an assistant professor at Bellevue University, where he teaches courses on leadership and American values. He retired as a brigadier general and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, and two Bronze Stars over the course of his career. In the race, he ousted Democratic incumbent Brad Ashford by running on strong national defense, family values, and a simplified tax code.

Jim Banks, Republican Representative of Indiana’s 3rd District

In addition to having spent six years on the Indiana General Assembly, Banks works as a commercial real estate broker in Fort Wayne. He currently serves in the Navy Reserve as a supply corps officer and took a leave of absence from the state senate in 2014 and 2015 to deploy to Afghanistan.

He campaigned on strong national defense, the replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and religious freedom.

Jack Bergman, Republican Representative of Michigan’s 1st District

Bergman is a retired Marine Corps Reserve three-star general. His civilian career included work as a pilot for Northwest Airlines and for a company that made hospital operating room equipment. He also started a firm that sold surgical microscopes and imaging equipment. Bergman ran on job creation, tax relief, and second amendment issues. He hopes to be selected to serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee.

Anthony Brown, Democratic Representative of Maryland’s 4th District

Now a retired colonel in the Army Reserve, Brown deployed to Iraq for 10 months in 2004 and 2005 with a civil affairs unit. He served as as an aviator and JAG officer and worked as an adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration, working on refugee and resettlement problems.

Brown went on to serve as lieutenant governor of Maryland under former presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley. He also lost Maryland’s gubernatorial election in 2014. In this election, however, he ran and won his race on strengthening veterans benefits, ending domestic abuse, and building education initiatives.

Salud Carbajal, Democratic Representative of California’s 24th District

After obtaining his master’s degree, Carbajal served eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, including active duty service during the 1991 Gulf War, while also working in various roles with several Santa Barbara-based non-profit organizations and in local government. Carbajal was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue Program, which offers financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support to candidates across the country. He ran on the issues of supporting middle class families, veterans affairs, and retirement solvency.

Tammy Duckworth, Democratic Senator of Illinois

A congresswoman since 2013, Duckworth was just elected a senator, unseating Navy vet Mark Kirk. An Iraq War veteran, she served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat injuries, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. After, she worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs before running for the 8th district congressional seat in Illinois. While there, she served on the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Duckworth’s work in the House centered on health care, immigration, and foreign aid — issues she campaigned on this year. The seat she won on Nov. 8 previously belonged to President Obama until he was elected president.

Tom Garrett, Republican Representative of Virginia’s 5th District

After getting his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Richmond, Garrett spent six years in the Army, deploying to the Balkans. In 2007, he served as the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and was elected as the state senator for the 22nd district in 2011. His congressional campaign centered on job creation, drug testing for welfare, and his pro-life stance.

Brian Mast, Republican Representative of Florida’s 18th District

Mast enlisted in the Army in 1999 and became an explosive ordinance disposal technician. He deployed to Kandahar in 2010 where an IED blast resulted in the amputation of both his legs and one of his fingers.

After being discharged, Mast worked for the Department of Homeland Security as an explosives specialist. The race was his first, and he managed to turn a blue seat red. During his term, hopes to save the coastal waters in Florida, replace Obamacare, and reform the VA.

Mike Gallagher, Republican Representative of Wisconsin’s 8th District

After graduating from Princeton, Gallagher joined the Marine Corps and spent seven years on active duty in Iraq where he gathered and analyzed human intelligence. Gallagher previously worked as a staff member on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Committee and on Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.

During his term, he hopes to eliminate wasteful spending and focus on national security. In addition, he is a staunch advocate of Second Amendment rights.

Jimmy Panetta, Democratic Representative of California’s 20th District

In 2003, Panetta commissioned as an Naval intelligence officer in the Reserve. Four years later, he went on active duty with a special operations forces in Afghanistan. He is also the son of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. After separating, he took up a career in law, and most recently, served as deputy district attorney in Monterey County.

Panetta ran on immigration reform, educational opportunity, and job creation. In winning this seat, he’s replacing Democratic Congressman Sam Farr, who held it for 23 years. Prior to that, his the seat belonged to Panetta’s father.

Scott Taylor, Republican Representative of Virginia’s 2nd District

Taylor was a Navy SEAL for eight years. He served overseas in South and Central America in counternarcotics and foreign internal defense missions. Taylor also deployed to Iraq as a SEAL sniper. A Republican, he ran as a candidate in the 2010 primary election for Virginia's 2nd congressional district, but lost to Scott Rigell. This was his second attempt, after Rigell stepped down.

He plans to focus on national security and defense issues, including more investment in cyber defense and unmanned vehicles. Endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Taylor has said he opposes attempts to further restrict gun ownership.

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

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President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.

"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'

"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"

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At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.

A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.

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In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."

A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.

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Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

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