More than 200 veterans were on the ballot for seats in the House and Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, according to "cross-partisan" group With Honor, a record number in an era where the number of lawmakers with military experience is at an all-time low. And after what feels like the longest election cycle in recent memory, dozens eked out major upsets across the country.
There is an unwritten code in our armed forces that those serving, especially officers, should not vote in U.S. elections. The most famous service member to follow this precedent was Gen. George C. Marshall, who served as Army chief of staff, secretary of state, and secretary of defense during World War II and the Cold War. The logic behind his decision not to vote stemmed from a desire to avoid partisan politics, because it would distract him from keeping the oath that commissioned officers take when joining their branch of service and upon every promotion, to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”