Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was named to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, increasing the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on the military oversight panel to eight.
Gabbard, who deployed to Iraq with the Hawaii National Guard in 2005-2006, is one of only two female combat veterans in Congress. The other, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., already serves on the committee.
The appointment was made by the the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to fill a vacancy on the panel.
In a statement, Gabbard welcomed the committee assignment as a chance to “continue my bipartisan efforts to reform our military justice system in order to end the epidemic of military sexual assault.” That issue has already divided Democrats in the Senate, and is expected to be a key point of the annual defense authorization bill debate.
She also said she’ll focus on ways to trim wasteful military spending and ways to “bring our troops home quickly and safely from Afghanistan.”
Gabbard and Duckworth are the only Iraq War veteran Democrats currently in the House.