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Enlisted Marine's Candidacy Unique, Important
American Thinker ^ | 9-5-2010 | Kieran Michael Lalor

Posted on 09/05/2010 4:20:49 PM PDT by smoothsailing


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September 05, 2010

Enlisted Marine's Candidacy Unique, Important

By Kieran Michael Lalor

Marine Corps sergeant Jesse Kelly led a squad of infantry Marines during the initial invasion of Iraq, received the Combat Action Ribbon and brought all the Marines under his charge home alive. 

In late August, the six-foot-eight Leatherneck scored a major upset in Arizona's 8th Congressional District GOP primary.  He beat fellow Iraq vet and former state senator Tim Paton who was heavily favored and backed by the Republican establishment in Arizona and Washington. 

Now the twenty-nine year-old Kelly, who manages projects for his family construction business, faces Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is seeking a third term.

Few Enlisted Combat Vets In Congress

Because Kelly was an enlisted serviceman rather than an officer, his presence in Congress would have a profound impact on national security matters. 

Consider that barely twenty percent of our leaders in Congress spent time in uniform and the number of combat veterans is even smaller.  According to a report by the House Armed Services Committee, only five percent of House members served in combat zones and even fewer saw actual combat. 

Also quite rare is the member of Congress who served as an enlisted man.  Only about forty percent of the veterans in Congress were enlisted despite the fact that eighty-five percent of our military are enlisted rather than commissioned officers. 

Thus, the rarest of all members of Congress is the combat enlisted man, who makes up only six percent of the veterans in the House and a microscopic 1.3 percent of the entire body. 

In short, those who actually fight our wars are severely underrepresented in Congress.

Jesse Kelly would be the first enlisted veteran of the War on Terror to serve in Congress.  For a variety of reasons, it is in the national interest to have in the House a critical mass of enlisted men who have had some trigger time during the ongoing war with radical Islam.

While generals and colonels craft the overall strategy of any conflict, the execution is done primarily by privates, corporals and sergeants of the infantry, artillery and cavalry.  Because they operate where the metal hits the meat, enlisted men of the combat arms have valuable insights into equipment, tactics and policies.

Moreover, much of the War on Terror is a counterinsurgency operation, which by its nature is decentralized.  As a result, patrols are often commanded by corporals and sergeants, known as Non-Commissioned Officers or NCOs.   Thus many, if not most life or death combat decisions are made by NCOs, not commissioned officers. 

Perspective Needed In Policy Debates

The debate over the Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan highlights the desperate need for enlisted combat veterans of the War on Terror in Congress.  Someone with a worm's-eye view of the impact restrictive rules have on morale and a small unit's ability to accomplish the mission would be invaluable when questioning the Pentagon brass about the wisdom of current and future rules.

Likewise, most of the heated debate over the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy on homosexuals serving openly, centers on how a policy change would impact unit cohesion and combat effectiveness.  In other words, how would repealing "don't ask don't tell" affect the enlisted men's ability to take the fight to the enemy. It would be wise to have a few enlisted combat vets in Congress when these issues are debated.    

The enlisted combat veteran's voice is also desperately needed on veteran's issues.  For example, the skill set developed and perfected by combat troops has little application in the civilian world.  There are no help wanted postings seeking S.A.W gunners, mortarmen, or tankers. 

In fact, the non-combat soldier who worked stateside as a clerk for a Colonel has a better chance at civilian employment than the combat grunt because the clerk is more likely to have obtained skills that matter on a civilian resume.  Adding insult to injury, the clerk, not the rifleman, is likely to have a security clearance which can be an invaluable tool when veterans are seeking employment in the defense and law enforcement sectors. 

This issue and others like it have not been raised, much less addressed because of the dearth of combat enlisted men in Congress. 

Dems Concerned

The Democrat reaction to Jesse Kelly's primary win speaks volumes about the strength of his campaign.  The incumbent started running attack ads against Kelly within hours of his primary victory and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Chris Van Hollen targeted Kelly by name as the sort of rock-ribbed Tea Party candidates the Dems would have to beat to hold the House. If they didn't think the upstart Devil Dog was a big time threat, they'd be ignoring not attacking.  

Kelly's surprising fundraising prowess, charisma and ability to bluntly tell it like it is as only a Marine sergeant can,  have turned his once long shot campaign into a contender.  Because national security is the most sacred responsibility of the federal government, combat enlisted men like Jesse Kelly must be well-represented in Congress.

Kieran Michael Lalor is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Founder of Iraq Veterans For Congress Political Action Committee


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/enlisted_marines_candidacy_uni.html at September 05, 2010 - 06:09:58 PM CDT


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/05/2010 4:20:50 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

Odd, about that Paton thing.

Why was the RNC running ads AGAINST Paton? Just wondering, was there on vacation while the primary was on....


2 posted on 09/05/2010 4:24:18 PM PDT by ASOC (This space reserved for)
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To: ASOC

I don’t know the answer to your question about Paton and the RNC.

I just like the idea of a Marine Sergeant kicking butt in Congress.


3 posted on 09/05/2010 4:30:05 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Nightshift

gnip


4 posted on 09/05/2010 4:30:22 PM PDT by tutstar
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To: smoothsailing

I’ll back a Marine Sergeant any day against someone that was either a “community organizer” or an officer.


5 posted on 09/05/2010 4:32:27 PM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: ASOC
Why was the RNC running ads AGAINST Paton?

Where do you see that in the article?

Paton was generally the preferred candidate of the establishment, though there wasn't really hostility to Jesse Kelly.

6 posted on 09/05/2010 4:33:36 PM PDT by Crichton
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To: smoothsailing

A 6’ 8” still fit to fight Marine Sergeant kicking butt in Congress.


7 posted on 09/05/2010 4:36:10 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Howie66
I’ll back a Marine Sergeant any day against someone that was either a “community organizer” or an officer.

I'm with you on that 100%, and that's why I posted the article! GO MARINE!!!

8 posted on 09/05/2010 4:36:33 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
We have another great patriot.. Nick Popaditch running against liberal Bob Filner in the 51st in California.. Popadtichforcongress.com.... be another great military hero in congress.. And it is time for Filner to go after 18 years of damage he has done this country...
9 posted on 09/05/2010 4:37:30 PM PDT by JoanneSD
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To: smoothsailing
We need Jesse Kelly and many more like him in Congress.

Jesse Kelly for Congress

10 posted on 09/05/2010 4:41:35 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: Howie66
I’ll back a Marine Sergeant any day against someone that was either a “community organizer” or an officer.

I hope you aren't equating military officers with community organizers.

11 posted on 09/05/2010 4:45:58 PM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (Bush: Mission Accomplished. Obama: Commission Accomplished.)
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To: JoanneSD
GUNNY POP!!!OO-RAH!!!

12 posted on 09/05/2010 4:49:43 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: JoanneSD

“We have another great patriot.. Nick Popaditch running against liberal Bob Filner in the 51st in California.. Popadtichforcongress.com.... be another great military hero in congress.. And it is time for Filner to go after 18 years of damage he has done this country... “

I’m just sorry my husband is no longer stationed in San Diego, I would vote for him in a heartbeat!


13 posted on 09/05/2010 4:51:12 PM PDT by DreamingWest
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To: jazusamo
Jesse in the News---Jesse Kelly tied with Gabrielle Giffords 46-46--- Sep 02, 2010--- A poll conducted by Ayres, McHenry & Associates, a respected national public opinion research company, for American Action Forum shows Jesse Kelly tied with Gabrielle Giffords for AZ-8.

14 posted on 09/05/2010 4:57:48 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: Fundamentally Fair

“I hope you aren’t equating military officers with community organizers.”

Oh, HELL NO! (except for the Muzzie mole, variety, that is)

I sincerely apologize if that was the impression that was made.


15 posted on 09/05/2010 5:04:56 PM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: smoothsailing

Isn’t that something?

As a two term incumbent Giffords has to be scared to death being tied at this point in the game.


16 posted on 09/05/2010 5:05:04 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: smoothsailing
The "dirty little secret" that the 'Ossifers' don't want to admit is....NCOs truly and well run the military.
"Don't call me SIR!...I work for a living!"


About time they gave a shot at running the country.


(former E-6 SSGT.)
17 posted on 09/05/2010 5:06:16 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
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To: Tainan

Concur!

Retired E7 (CPO)


18 posted on 09/05/2010 5:44:04 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Islam is an instrument of enslavement)
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To: Tainan
The "dirty little secret" that the 'Ossifers' don't want to admit is....NCOs truly and well run the military.

Since you made it to E6, you were in long enough to have rotated through many officers and various positions where you interacted with officers on a daily basis. I find it interesting that you can make your statement above with such conviction as that was certainly outside my experience as an officer and my observation of other officers. I understood that it was in my best interests for the platoon sergeant and section chief to run the daily business of the platoon while I learned the business of being an officer. Good NCOs have that as a goal that they work on with their platoon leader.

I did not see it as a "dirty little secret" -- just a fact of life that was critical to my ability to succeed in achieving the platoon's mission.

19 posted on 09/05/2010 5:46:39 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: smoothsailing

Democrats spitting on vets, like they always do.


20 posted on 09/05/2010 5:54:59 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople
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To: JoanneSD

Popaditch is our Cigar-smoking tank Marine from Baghdad.


21 posted on 09/05/2010 6:02:50 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: SandRat

Did he lie about his height? When I enlisted in the Navy six feet and six inches was the limit IIRC. I am about six four and I remember a few guys taller than me but not that much taller.


22 posted on 09/05/2010 6:14:36 PM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: RipSawyer

Well I heard you had to be six feet tall to be in the Coast Guard, in case the ship sunk you could walk to shore...


23 posted on 09/05/2010 6:18:36 PM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: RipSawyer

I’m 6’5” and my neck hurts looking up at him.


24 posted on 09/05/2010 6:31:47 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: smoothsailing

Bump


25 posted on 09/05/2010 6:31:47 PM PDT by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: smoothsailing

BTTT


26 posted on 09/05/2010 6:33:53 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (*)
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To: Crichton

I didn’t - I saw it on the TV in Tucson like 10 or 20 times.

I thought WTF? The RNC running ads against thier own party????


27 posted on 09/05/2010 6:42:59 PM PDT by ASOC (This space reserved for)
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To: smoothsailing

Thanks for posting this.
He is one VERY impressive man, isn’t he?


28 posted on 09/05/2010 6:57:09 PM PDT by A_Cougar
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To: ASOC
Paton was the republican establishment's candidate. There were no anti-Paton ads run by the RNC. There were some ads broadcast by the DNC critical of his work as a lobbyist for the Payday Loan industry.
29 posted on 09/05/2010 7:49:51 PM PDT by CanadianYankee
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To: CanadianYankee

Someone was running ads about how Paton had already lost once to whatshername.

Dunno - got no dog in that fight - just thought it was odd....


30 posted on 09/05/2010 10:34:31 PM PDT by ASOC (This space reserved for)
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