When elected officials gather on Capitol Hill to formally convene the 117th Congress on Jan. 3, they’ll do so with 91 veterans among their ranks, the lowest total since at least World War II.
The number of veterans in Congress has declined almost steadily since the mid-1970s, as the military shifted from an end strength of largely drafted individuals to an all-volunteer force. In 1973, nearly three in every four members of Congress had some type of military service. In 2021, it’ll be about one in every six members who have military experience.
Here’s a look at the group, by the numbers:
· 91 total veterans in the 117th Congress.
17 will serve in the Senate, 74 will serve in the House.
· 28 are Democrats, 63 are Republicans.
13 served in the military in the 1960s or earlier.
50 served in the military after 2000.
More than half (49) had overseas combat deployments.
15 are first-time lawmakers.
6 are women, a decrease of 1 from last Congress
44 served in the Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
15 served in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.
15 served in the Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserve.
17 served in the Navy or Naval Reserve.
None served in the Coast Guard.
Texas has the most veterans in their state delegation, with nine.
12 states have no veterans in their state delegations (Idaho, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming)