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Iwo Jima Memorial by Keith Curfman.JPG

A Political Leadership Incubator


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A Political Leadership Incubator


Veterans Campaign is the first ever non-partisan, non-ideological organization whose mission is to train veterans to run for public office. Our goal is to demystify the process of campaigning for public office and encourage more veterans to continue their legacy of public service as elected officials. To that end, Veterans Campaign holds campaign training workshops, sponsors lectures, and conducts research, all aimed at helping veterans learn more about the campaign process.

At Veterans Campaign we believe that our country’s veterans are a valuable yet untapped resource of potential elected leadership. Veterans possess many qualities our country needs in its public officials: outstanding leadership experience in the face of adversity, familiarity with a broad cross-section of American society, and an intimate understanding of the human consequences of Washington’s foreign policy decisions. Most importantly, Veterans have demonstrated their willingness to put America and its citizens before their own well-being. Today more than ever, our country needs more veterans in public office.

Veterans Campaign bridged the gap between my conviction for ‘second service’, and the skills, connections, and know-how to successfully advocate for veterans on Capitol Hill.
— Elena Kim, Congressional Liaison for the VA
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The Need Veterans Campaign Meets


Veterans are well-prepared to lead, but not to campaign.

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The Need Veterans Campaign Meets


Veterans are well-prepared to lead, but not to campaign.

The Reason

America needs you to be willing to do what you’re contemplating doing today—to continue to serve.
— Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden

The number of veterans serving in elected office has declined rapidly over the last forty years. In 1969, seventy-five percent of senators and congressmen had served in the military. By the beginning of the Afghanistan War, that number had dropped to fewer than one in three. Even more s triking, since 2001, the number has continued to decline steeply. Currently, just over one in five serving senators and congressmen has served.

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U.S. confidence in elected leaders has similarly decreased. This is likely due to ever-increasing partisanship, corruption, and inability to work together for the common good of the United States.

Veterans are a valuable yet untapped resource of superb elected leaders. Military veterans have outstanding leadership experience, have made difficult decisions under pressure, and have accomplished whatever America has asked of them, honorably. As one of the most diverse groups within the United States, they have consistently put their differences aside to work together for the common good. Most importantly, Veterans have demonstrated their willingness to put America and its citizens before their own well-being. We believe that by training Veterans to campaign effectively, more Veterans will run for and be elected to public office. Moreover, Veterans’ common bond of service has historically encouraged bipartisanship, cooperation, and better government.

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Americans of all ages have tremendous confidence in those who wear the uniform. Studies have shown that Americans have become increasingly confident in the men and women in uniform. Today, the military is the most respected institution in the United States. Eighty-two percent of Americans express confidence in our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. The confidence Americans have in the military looks likely to continue with the millennial generation (Americans between the ages of 18 and 29), according to a recent Harvard study. Although just two percent have served, millenials have more confidence in the military than they have in the President, the Supreme Court, Congress, the media, the United Nations, and Wall Street. The same study found that by a six to one margin, young Americans believe that politics has become too partisan. Given America’s decreasing satisfaction with congress and increasing confidence in those who wear the uniform, it follows that reversing the decline in the number of veterans serving in public office would increase Americans’ satisfaction with their elected leaders.

Veterans are well-prepared to lead, but not to campaign. Veterans face distinctive obstacles in elected politics. Despite bipartisan efforts to recruit veteran candidates, especially in the last three national elections, few non-incumbent veterans have been elected. The amount of time veterans have spent away form their districts while serving, the increasing cost of campaigning, and veterans’ general disillusionment with the political process are all obstacles to veterans who might otherwise make outstanding elected leaders. Veterans generally lack a fundraising base, community roots, and political knowledge and experience. Veterans Campaign’s goal is to demystify the process of running for office, and make it accessible to veterans who are interested in continuing their service as elected officials.

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How We Help


Veterans Campaign is the clearinghouse for all aspects of veterans in politics, but first and foremost, we are a resource to interested veterans.

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How We Help


Veterans Campaign is the clearinghouse for all aspects of veterans in politics, but first and foremost, we are a resource to interested veterans.

Our programming includes:

I came away from Veterans Campaign with new ideas, new friends and a renewed sense of how the community of arms can work past party to bring new and needed blood into the political process.
— Tommy Sowers, Democratic Congressional Nominee, MO-8
  • Campaign Workshops: Veterans Campaign holds weekend workshops across the country to teach Veterans the fundamental skills they need to run a successful campaign.
  • Distinguished Speakers Series: A monthly forum for veteran politicians and senior leaders in government to share their experiences and answer questions with aspiring veterans in an informal environment.
  • Research and Analysis: Veterans Campaign continually researches the performance of veterans in politics, including successful campaign tactics for veterans on the local, state, and federal levels.
  • The Candidates Field Manual is a one of a kind guide, published by Veterans Campaign, that provides veterans with everything they need to know to win.

The signature event of Veterans Campaign, workshops are held each year across the country to provide veterans the essential tools they need to win elections.

Workshops cover all aspects of campaigning, such as preparing to run, fundraising, media relations, and field operations. Veteran-specific subjects include:

  • Bulletproofing your service record
  • Legal pitfalls for reservists & retirees
  • Avoiding getting pigeonholed as a ‘veteran candidate’

Workshops have featured an array of high-quality speakers, including Senator Mike Enzi; Representatives Tim Walz, Chris Gibson, Tom Rooney, Ann Marie Buerkle, Patrick Murphy, and Jim Marshall.

Our instructor cadre includes campaign managers, leading campaign consultants from every specialty, PAC managers, community activists, political correspondents, pundits, and leaders of veterans' service organizations.