Syracuse launches program to train veterans in political careers

This fall, Syracuse will launch its “Veterans in Politics” program, which is designed to give veterans a crash course in what it takes to succeed in politics. (Syracuse University)

If you’re a veteran interested in pursuing a career in the political world, Syracuse University may have just the program for you.

This fall, Syracuse will launch its “Veterans in Politics” academic program, which is designed to give veterans and military family members a crash course in what it takes to succeed at all levels of politics.

“We hope to in a very practical way create the opportunity to put the veterans who participate in the program on a path to enacting their aspiration for office,” said Mike Haynie, Syracuse’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation. Haynie also serves as the executive director of the school’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

The Veterans in Politics program will be run out of Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Haynie said that veterans will learn valuable skills like campaign planning, fundraising, developing an issues platform and crafting policy.

He also said that Syracuse plans to ask some of the veterans currently serving in Congress to come impart their wisdom to students.

Haynie is a veteran himself, having served in the Air Force from 1992 to 2006 as a logistician. For him, getting more veterans elected to office has larger implications than just representation.

“I believe as a citizen that it’s important the individuals making decisions about sending the nation’s sons and daughters to war have firsthand experience of what that means,” he said.

One of the program’s goals is to increase the number of veterans getting elected to political offices. Only 96 veterans are currently serving in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Justin Brown — founder of the nonprofit Hillvets

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