Why We Need More Veterans in Office

A photo of Juan at The United States Military Academy at West Point.

On this Veterans Day, I’m reporting for duty — to the people of Maryland.

As a combat veteran and a graduate of The United States Military Academy at West Point, I can attest to the qualities and experiences gained during military service that make veterans well-suited for leadership in government.

It’s my hope that more veterans will feel encouraged to run for office and that our communities will support them. In a time when our country is more polarized than ever, I believe our veterans can help bridge the divide and provide solutions we all need.

Juan pictured second from the right with fellow soldiers in the Middle East.

As this Veterans Day approaches, I ask you to look at your local, state, and national election candidates and seek out those, like me, with military experience. Here’s why:

  1. Leadership Skills: Military service fosters strong leadership skills, as veterans are regularly put in positions of significant responsibility. They learn to lead by example, make critical decisions, and motivate their teams to achieve objectives. Veterans also have experience in high-pressure situations, where emotions run high, and can apply a disciplined approach to tackling complex issues in government.
  2. Problem-Solving Abilities: Veterans are often trained to analyze situations, adapt to changing circumstances, and solve problems effectively. These problem-solving skills are invaluable in politics, where they are required to address issues ranging from healthcare and education to national security and economic policy.
  3. Commitment to Public Service: The military instills a sense of duty and service to the nation. This deep-rooted dedication to the well-being of the country can be a driving force behind a veteran’s political agenda and leadership approach. Furthermore, our veterans often have direct experience with government operations and policies, which can provide them with unique insights into how to navigate bureaucracy and make government more efficient and responsive to the needs of citizens.
  4. A Diverse Perspective: The military is a diverse and inclusive institution, and veterans often bring this perspective to their leadership roles. They understand the importance of representing all constituents and addressing the needs of various demographic groups.
  5. Understanding of National Security: Many veterans have a deep understanding of national security and foreign policy issues due to their service experience. This expertise can be a significant asset when addressing complex international matters and ensuring the safety and security of the nation.

Veterans bring a combination of leadership, problem-solving skills, commitment to public service, and a strong sense of duty to the table, making them well-suited for political leadership.

I’d like to close by offering a HUGE thanks to our military veterans. Our unique training, experience, and value system is needed now, more than ever, to help bridge gaps in our political leadership and lead to more effective and accountable government.

Juan outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC.