Former Navy SEALs find beachhead in public office, expect reinforcements

November 18, 2016


Navy SEALs, the most glorified warriors in the war on Islamic terrorists, are not a political force in America, but unprecedented victories in this year’s elections have put former frogmen on a political beachhead.

Fifteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the first wave of former SEAL politicians has arrived. Four secured significant elected offices on Nov. 8. Colleagues promise to use the new foothold to bring more into the arena.

“The teammates I know who are running for public office are fired up to make a difference in politics,” said Brandon Webb, a former SEAL who runs the network Force12 Media and news website SOFREP.

The pathfinder is Rep. Ryan K. Zinke, a Montana Republican and former member of SEAL Team 6 who served in the state Senate. He won election to the U.S. House in 2014 and was re-elected easily last week.

Before Mr. Zinke’s 2014 victory, the last Navy special warfare veteran elected was Jesse Ventura in 1998 as Minnesota governor, and before that Bob Kerrey in 1989 as a U.S. senator from Nebraska, according to a review.

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