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Retired Generals, Admirals, CIA Leaders and Diplomats Join Helmer’s National Security Advisory Cmte.

Fairfax, VA – Today, Dan Helmer, Iraq/Afghanistan War Veteran and Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, announced the expansion of the Helmer for Congress National Security Advisory Committee to include generals and admirals from every branch of the military, senior leaders in the intelligence community, and dedicated diplomats. The committee members have served in every U.S. war since WWII and have more than three centuries of collective service to our nation. Committee members support Dan’s bid for Congress and have also made themselves available to advise Dan on foreign, military, intelligence, and defense policy.

“As Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, I sought to instill a lifelong dedication to Duty, Honor, Country, in my cadets,” said Lieutenant General (Retired) Dan Christman. “Throughout his life, Dan has dedicated himself to those priorities, and all of us on the National Security Advisory Committee know that those are exactly the values that we need, and that Dan will embody, in Congress.”

The National Security Advisory Committee underscores Dan’s deep commitment to public service that puts our country before politics. It also highlights his ability to attract the trust of policy-making veterans and to convene broad-based coalitions of thought-leaders and analysts.

“I am often disappointed by my elected leadership, who seem more effective at partisan bickering than the business of governing,” said Brigadier General (Retired) Jeff Cashman. “We have been engaged in the longest war in American history without a Congressional declaration of war, as our Constitution requires. Our Government has again failed to pass a defense spending bill before the end of the fiscal year, triggering uncounted waste in our defense spending. I do not support “business as usual” in the US House of Representatives and know that candidate Dan Helmer is the smart choice in these times of great insecurity. We need experience and accomplished servant-leaders like Dan Helmer in Washington to set us on the right national security path.”

Helmer thanked the members for their support and advice.

“The people of VA-10 deserve a true representative in Washington -- not a congressperson who will play politics with our national security. I will stand up to Donald Trump and his recklessness to work towards a smart, strong and secure America,” said Helmer. “The advice and expertise of the members of this committee will be invaluable as we work together in the interest of our Democracy. I am grateful for their trust and their endorsements.”

The Helmer for Congress National Security Advisory Committee includes:

  • Lieutenant General (Retired) Dan Christman, US Army, Former Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, Vietnam Veteran

  • Major General (Retired) Gale Pollock, Former Acting Surgeon General and 22nd Chief of the Army Nurse Corps

  • Rear Admiral Mike Smith, former President, Navy Board of Inspection and Survey, Veteran of Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Operation Iraqi Freedom

  • Brigadier General (Retired) Steve Cheney, US Marine Corps, Former Inspector General of the Marine Corps

  • Brigadier General (Retired) John Douglass, US Air Force, Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisitions)

  • Brigadier General (retired) Jeff Cashman, resident of VA-10 and former US Air Force and Air National Guard Senior Leader

  • Brigadier General (Retired) David McGinnis, New York National Guard, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Vietnam Veteran

  • General (Retired) Volney Warner, US Army, Former Commander-in-Chief United States Readiness Command, Korea and Vietnam Veteran

  • Former Deputy Director of the CIA and former Principal Deputy National Security Adviser, Avril Haines, the first woman to serve in either position

  • Former Deputy Director of the CIA, David Cohen


  • Ambassador Susan Jacobs, former State Department Special Advisor for Children’s Issues



Committee Members Announced in Spring of 2017


  • Michele Flournoy, fmr. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

  • Brad Carson, fmr. Under Secretary of the Army and Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

  • Andrew Exum, fmr. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy, Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran

  • Charles H. Leven, fmr. CIA case officer and senior official focused on Russia


The 10th Congressional District is home to tens of thousands of veterans, military families, Department of Defense employees, intelligence professionals, and defense industry employees.


Dan Helmer is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Rhodes Scholar, business strategist, and father of two.


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Open letter to 10th CD Democratic Committee members: Asking you to protect the voting rights of our troops

Today, I sent the following letter to each member of the 10th CD Democratic Committee to ask them to protect the voting rights of troops by choosing a state-run primary nominating process.


Thank you so much for your incredible support for Democrats in the 10th CD, and for your thoughtful consideration of our 2018 nomination process.  I wanted to send you a personal note, especially in honor of both Election Day and Veterans Day, to encourage you to include service members in your nominating approach.

At 17, I first swore an oath to uphold and defend our Constitution.  That year, I turned 18 in time for the Presidential election.  On an absentee ballot filled out in a grey barracks at the U.S. Military Academy, I cast my first ever ballot -- a vote for Al Gore.  As disappointed as I was in the outcome, I was proud to have participated in our democratic process as both a citizen and a soldier.

Since then, like many service members, I’ve cast ballots from all corners of the world.  Each year, tens of thousands of soldiers on the front lines of our nation’s conflicts also cast absentee ballots, as do military spouses like my wife, Karen.  Hundreds of thousands more cast absentee ballots from their duty stations in every corner of our country and the globe.  In doing so, they have a chance to exercise the rights of our citizens that they dutifully defend.

Women and men who put their lives on the line for our country ought to be able to vote, one of the most basic rights of citizenship.  And so should their spouses.  But soldiers and their spouses face too many barriers to voting, from failures in the military mail system, to local errors in sending ballots on time, to the vagaries of state regulations.

Yesterday, still a citizen-soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves, I was proud to exercise my Constitutional right to vote and cast votes for fellow Veterans Ralph Northam and Donte Tanner, as well as our other great Democratic candidates on the ballot.  I’m so proud to be a Democrat, the Party that believes that we should eliminate barriers to voting and ensure that all citizens have an opportunity to choose their representatives.

In the ongoing discussion in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District about the nominating method to select a Democratic nominee, I wanted to restate my endorsement of a state-run primary -- especially as an U.S. Army Veteran.  Every service member and military spouse registered to vote in Virginia 10 should have the opportunity to choose their candidate -- especially our troops deployed in harm’s way.  I urge you to ensure our troops and their spouses have the opportunity to participate in the nomination process through a state-run primary.

Thank you again for everything you do.  I look forward to working with you to turn VA-10 blue!

Warm Regards,