Editor’s note: This story was last updated on Dec. 18, to reflect Martha McSally’s appointment to the open Arizona Senate seat.
WASHINGTON — With Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones’ concession in the Texas 23rd district race earlier this week, all of the congressional elections involving veterans have now been decided.
The final results leave the total number of lawmakers with military experience for next year’s session at 96, down six from the start of the last congressional session. It’s another decrease in veteran representation in Congress, a figure that has declined steadily since the mid-1970s.
At that time, the years following the Vietnam War, nearly three-fourths of lawmakers had served in the military. The 116th session will open with less than 18 percent of Congress boasting first-hand familiarity with the military.
However, next year’s Congress will boast the largest number of female veterans in history (six) and the largest class of freshmen veteran lawmakers in a decade (19). Nearly half of the veterans caucus served in the ranks after 2000, while four members still boast service from the 1950s.
Here’s a look at the group, by the numbers:
- 96 total veterans in the 116th Congress.
- 30 are Democrats, 66 are Republicans.
- 19 will serve in the Senate, 77 will serve in the House.
- 48 served in the military after 2000.
- 21 served in the military in the 1960s or earlier.
- 19 are first-time lawmakers.
- 7 are women.
- 50 served in the Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
- 17 served in the Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserve.
- 17 served in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.
- 13 served in the Navy or Naval Reserve.
- 1 served in the Coast Guard.
Below is the full list of veterans who are set to serve in the next Congress, which convenes on Jan. 3, 2019:
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.