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Retired Guard Officer Elected to Senate

November 16, 2016

From the NGAUS Washington Report

Tammy Duckworth

A retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel and combat veteran has won a seat in the Senate.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who is her second term in the House of Representatives and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, defeated Sen. Mark Kirk in last week’s Senate election in Illinois. 

Duckworth, who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit her UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq in 2004, will be the second female combat veteran to serve in the Senate. The first was retired Army Guard lieutenant colonel, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who has four years remaining in her first term. 

Meanwhile, all seven drilling Guardsmen in the House were re-elected last week: Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla.; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; Rep. Trent Kelly, R- Okla.; Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss.; Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.; and Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Okla. 

All are officers and serve in the state they represent in Congress except for Kinzinger, who is in the Wisconsin Air Guard. 

The 115th Congress, which begins in January, will include 12 other House members with Guard service. 

Among them will be Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., a member of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee; Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., a co-chair of the House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus; and Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., the current longest serving House member. 

Five members of the Senate next year will have Guard service. Joining Duckworth and Ernst will be Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a co-chair of the Senate National Guard caucus; and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.  

A complete list of lawmakers with Guard experience who will be in the 115th Congress is available on the NGAUS website.  

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