Congressman Warren Davidson military then and now

The only way it’s going to change is people unite and say, we need a laser-focused military focused on fighting and winning wars, not on cultural wars, but on the threats to our country... Warren Davidson

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Congressman Warren Davidson talks about his military days and our current military readiness. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – I recently had the opportunity to visit with Warren Davidson, Ohio’s 8th Congressional District Congressman about his time in the military and his thoughts on the direction our nation is taking.

After high school, Congressman Davidson enlisted in the Army as an infantryman. As part of the 3rd Infantry Division, he was stationed in Germany and witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. His commanding officers recognized his potential and helped him earn an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated near the top of his class as a student of American history and mechanical engineering. As an officer, he led in The Old Guard, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and the 101st Airborne Division.

“I graduated high school in 1988 and the Cold War was going on,” said Davidson. “I thought it would be a nice time to serve. Once I realized who jumped out of the airplanes, I was like, I want to be an Airborne Ranger, I want to do what those guys do. I didn’t know how long I would want to do it or whether I would like it well enough to be a career, but I loved the idea of serving the country and being able to go train with people who were focused on trying to be the tip of the spear for the country.”

Davidson remembers well the first time he put on our nation’s uniform, although as a raw recruit, it was a memorable and proud moment.

“It was rushed, the drill sergeants are hounding you, they weren’t always polite about it and they try to drive stress in basic training,” he said. “It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed most of the things about all the training. I was like, I can’t believe we get paid and go shoot rifles and throw hand grenades and I get paid to do this.”

Davidson competed on the Sidney Yellow Jackets High School wrestling team, a sport that paid dividends in the young soldiers’ early training days.

“I was a wrestler, so I was reasonably fit when I first joined, but you get paid to work out,” Davidson said with a smile. “It wasn’t always the kind of workout you would want to do but it was something I enjoyed, virtually everything about it. It was neat to see people come from all walks of life. Some people showed up in basic training, but they weren’t ready for the fitness challenges there. It was nice to coach them along and encourage them on runs or teach them how to breathe right. It was something I really enjoyed from the first start of training.”

Congressman Warren Davidson. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Davidson’s excellent soldiering got the attention of his superiors, who brought a new military direction for the young infantry soldier.

“When I was an enlisted guy, my platoon leader came to me and said, hey, did you ever think about being an officer,” Davidson said. “He helped me go to West Point. I was like, well I’m not going to pass that chance up. What a great chance to go; a. get a great education but b. I liked being in the Army. Being an officer, it seems like I could decide a few things that I look at and go, but I’m not sure I would decide it the way those guys decided it.”

Following graduation from West Point and receiving his commission, Davidson went from saluting officers to receiving salutes from enlisted troops.

”It was a real honor to get saluted and it was one thing to get saluted by junior guys but when you see an NCO who is a Platoon Sergeant or a First Sergeant or a Sergeant Major who are the kind of people that as a junior guy you looked up to that were the real leaders on the ground, you know they know what they’re doing and then you get somebody like that that you have profound respect for personally and they render the salute back to you as an officer it’s pretty humbling, it’s an honor to get to do it. It says a lot about America.”

“A lot of places you couldn’t have the background I had and get the opportunity I had,” Davidson added. “I enlisted in the Army, I get a chance to go to West Point, come back, and serve as an officer in our country, great units like the Ranger Regiment, the 101st Airborne, the Old Guard you would say God Bless America what an amazing place and then so many other great things have happened. American is worth defending and it was an honor to get the chance to serve.”

The United States Senate and Congress are experiencing an uptick in veterans winning seats in DC.

“It’s growing, it’s been popular,” Davidson said. “There was a time, you look at the Vietnam era Veterans and they were treated with contempt and disrespect.”

“When I ran I was an Army Ranger business guy, kind of not your regular resume for Congress,” added Davidson. “You know what it was like to be the private that got sent out to pull guard duty, you didn’t get to choose whether you were pulling guard duty or whether you were at a burn pit, or whether you were cleaning up latrines, you just yes Sergeant and you go do it. Some people never experienced that level of being in the military. We have a lot of the people in Congress who were officers but were not enlisted and I think it is neat to have a little bit of both.”

Congressman Davidson took time to share his thoughts and ideas on current national issues and our current and future military from a military background and business owner perspective.

“I was talking to a senior officer and sharing some of the stories I get,” Davidson said. “We’ve had people who had a life goal to be in one of our service academies. We had a girl turn down an appointment to the Air Force Academy because she didn’t want to get COVID vaccines back when all the COVID stuff was happening. She still did ROTC at a different college but turned it down because she didn’t want to be mandated to have a vaccine and serve in that environment.”

“I get questions from classmates whose kids are now thinking about going to West Point – would you still go to West Point, would you still enlist in the Army today and the concern isn’t about our foreign policy as much is it about the culture and the idea that frankly the far left in our country is taking over a lot of institutions and now they are trying to take over the military.”

“They are paying for transgender surgeries in the military, they have men dressed as women serving in uniform, and unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped even when President Trump was President. You had Mad Dog Mattis as Secretary of Defense say we’ll study that instead of Yes sir when President Trump said we’re not doing transgender surgeries in the military, and so this culture, some people call it a WOKE and far-left culture, has kind of taken over or trying to take over the military.”

“A lot of people who want to make rank in the military have learned that you have to be silent about that so one of these officers I was sharing those concerns with said, look, Sir, I checked and we’re in the ord chart, Commander in Chief makes those decisions, flows through the Secretary, flows down the chain of command and on a personal level, I don’t like it but it’s not my job as the guy in uniform to change it.”

“I get one vote and the only way it’s going to change is the people of the country unite and say, we need a laser-focused military focused on fighting and winning wars, not on cultural wars, but on the threats to our country.”

Davidson has a solution for the large decline in US military recruitment needed to keep our nation safe, secure, strong, and respected worldwide.

“If we had a more focused foreign policy, if we were using our military to secure our own borders instead of trying to secure every part of the world, I think recruitment would go up, and people would be inspired to serve and defend.”

“During the Cold War, people got that, but now, in a different era, you’re seeing not only the mission of the military but also the kind of culture. The military kind of drives off some of the interests of young people, and I think that is a threat to our country. The only thing that will change is different leadership; you just can’t change the policies; you must have a different leader to implement them.”

“Encourage everybody to go vote,” Congressman Warren Davidson concluded.