Jack Bergman

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Jack Bergman
59d21bbfdbe95.image.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Dan Benishek
Personal details
Born (1947-02-02) February 2, 1947 (age 71)
Shakopee, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education Gustavus Adolphus College (BA)
University of West Florida (MBA)
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1969–2009
Rank US Marine O9 shoulderboard.svg Lieutenant General
Unit Rhode Island National Guard
HMM-261
HMM-164
HML-776
VMGR-234
Commands VMGR-452
Mobilization Station, Chicago
II Marine Expeditionary Force Augmentation Command Element
4th Marine Aircraft Wing
4th Marine Logistics Group
United States Marine Corps Reserve
Marine Forces North

John W. Bergman (born February 2, 1947) is a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant general and the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 1st congressional district. He served as commanding general of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North. He also served as a naval aviator, flying rotary-winged aircraft such as the CH-46 and UH-1, as well as fixed-wing aircraft such as the T-28 and KC-130. A Republican, he was elected to the U.S. House in the 2016 election.[1][2] Bergman is the highest-ranking military official ever elected to the United States Congress.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Bergman was born on February 2, 1947, in Shakopee, Minnesota[4] and received his undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1969. He subsequently earned an M.B.A. degree from the University of West Florida. His formal military education includes Naval Aviation Flight Training, Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Landing Force Staff Planning (Marine Expeditionary Brigade [MEB] and Air Command Element [ACE]), Reserve Component National Security and Naval War College Strategy & Policy, Syracuse University National Security Seminar, Combined Forces Air Component Command, LOGTECH, and CAPSTONE.

Military career[edit]

Bergman in uniform

Bergman was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1969 under the Platoon Leader School program after his college graduation.

He flew CH-46 helicopters with HMM-261 at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, and with HMM-164 in Okinawa, Japan, and the Republic of Vietnam.

Assigned as a flight instructor, he flew the T-28 with VT-6, NAS Whiting Field, Florida. He left active duty in 1975 and flew UH-1 helicopters with the Rhode Island National Guard, Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

Following a 1978 civilian employment transfer to Chicago, Illinois, he transferred from the Rhode Island National Guard back to the Marine Corps Reserve, where he served in several 4th Marine Aircraft Wing units at NAS Glenview, Illinois: HML-776, flying the UH-1; VMGR-234, flying the KC-130; and Mobilization Training Unit IL-1.

He was selected to stand up the second KC-130 squadron in 4th MAW and, in 1988, became the first commanding officer of VMGR-452, Stewart Air National Guard Base (ANGB), Newburgh, New York. From 1992 to 1994 he commanded Mobilization Station, Chicago — the largest of the 47 Marine Corps Mobilization Stations.

During 1995, he served as a special staff officer at Marine Corps Reserve Support Command, Overland Park, Kansas. In 1996, he became chief of staff/deputy commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force Augmentation Command Element, Camp Pendleton, California. In late 1997, he transferred to 4th Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarters, New Orleans, Louisiana, to serve as assistant chief of staff/G-1. Promoted to brigadier general, he became deputy commander of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.

Transferred in June 1998 to Headquarters, Marine Forces Europe, Stuttgart, Germany, he served as deputy commander. Recalled to active duty from April to July 1999, he was dual-hatted as EUCOM, Deputy J-3A. He then commanded II Marine Expeditionary Force Augmentation Command Element, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, until assuming command of 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, New Orleans, Louisiana in August 2000.

In September 2002, he assumed command of the 4th Force Service Support Group, New Orleans, Louisiana. He also served as chairman of the Secretary of the Navy's Marine Corps Reserve Policy Board from 2001 to 2003.

Returning to active duty in October 2003, he served as director of Reserve Affairs, Quantico, Virginia.

He began his final assignment, command of Marine Forces Reserve/Marine Forces North, on June 10, 2005. He relinquished that command in October 2009, and retired from active duty in December of that year.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2016 campaign[edit]

Bergman won the Republican primary in Michigan's 1st congressional district in August 2016. He defeated Democratic nominee Lon Johnson and Libertarian nominee Diane Bostow in the November 2016 general election.[2] Bergman, who was elected to succeed retiring Republican Representative Dan Benishek, won 55% of the vote to Johnson's 40% and Bostow's 4%.[5][6]

The district covers the entirety of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula.

Tenure[edit]

Rep. Bergman assumed office on January 3, 2017. He is a member of the Republican Study Committee.

Rep. Bergman was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 3949, VA Prescription Data Accountability Act 2017, which became law during the 115th Congress, 1st Session (2017). The bill helps protect veterans receiving prescription medicines and prevents misuse of such prescription medicines.[7]

Committee assignments[edit]

Baseball field shooting[edit]

In June 2017, Bergman was one of the Republican congressmen who were practicing on an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field for the annual congressional baseball game when a man named James Hodgkinson began shooting at them, harming four people, including Cong. Steve Scalise (R-LA).[8]

Bergman "was about to take the batter's box when he heard the first shot." Not knowing how many shooters there were, "I just basically went into a low crawl and crawled behind the first base dugout and listened... It appeared as though the shooter was moving around the outside of the perimeter moving towards the backstop, so once that was the situation then I along with a couple of other folks who were behind the dugout crawled around and went down into the dugout in case the shooter came all around behind the backstop."[8]

Afterwards, Bergman blamed the incident on anti-GOP rhetoric. "The hateful rhetoric serves no positive purpose, in fact today it obviously served a negative purpose, but unfortunately, and I'm looking at all the media in the eye when I say this: Friendships and cordial relationships don't make good news," Bergman said. "So, I can tell you, especially as president of the freshman class of Republicans, we are united along with our Democratic freshman counterparts to bring civility back to the 115th Congress." Asked if he was blaming the media, Bergman said, "I think the media is complicit if they keep inciting as opposed to informing."[9]

Political positions[edit]

In a July 2016 television interview, Bergman said his three top priorities were to "get Congress working together" instead of being preoccupied with partisan division, to "utilize the Constitution," and to pass a balanced budget amendment.[10]

Government spending

In March 2016, he said that cutting spending would be his top priority in Congress. "The debt that our country is saddling our grandchildren with is insurmountable," he said. "When you combine that with the safety and security issues that our country is facing, we need to send a different type of person to Washington D.C." [11]

Healthcare

In May 2017, Bergman co-sponsored the MacArthur Amendment, which would eliminate healthcare exemptions for members of Congress that were permitted under the American Health Care Act (AHCA). "We are all equal in the eyes of the law," Bergman said, "and as Members of Congress, we are obligated to live by the standards we set for the American people. In the context of health care, that means coverage should be available to Representatives and our staffs on the same basis that it's available to our constituents."[12]

Environment

In September 2017, Bergman became the 29th Republican to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, after having had several friendly meetings with members of the Citizens Climate Lobby who attend high school in his district. At a June meeting with them, he had committed to joining the caucus, and also asked the students to prepare "a formal presentation on Carbon Fee and Dividend and pitch it to him back at home like a business proposal" in August. According to the CCL, Bergman "was particularly interested in the potential job growth Carbon Fee and Dividend would likely bring to the health sector." [13]

Military

In an August 2017 interview, Bergman "critiqued politicians who have not served in uniform for making misguided military policy decisions." He said that in order to have the kind of political leadership that is needed in regard to military policy, "you really have to have those people who were boots on the ground. There are a lot of people who really think they are making good decisions as it relates to the military who have no clue what the ramifications of that decision are because they have never been part of it."

Bergman sided with President Trump that transgender individuals should be barred from the military. "The U.S. military is not a social experiment," he said. He added: "I do not support elective surgery of any kind, zero federal dollars spent on elective surgery. I'm all about readiness and winning the fight. Anything that challenges unit cohesion is counterproductive and people get hurt."[14]

Party identity

He considers himself a conservative but does not feel strongly about party. "As a senior military officer, I could not be part of a political party," he has said. "[S]wearing that oath to the Constitution, and being in uniform, we represent everyone, not just some."[15]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bergman's military awards include:

Medals and ribbons[edit]

Naval Aviator Badge.jpg Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.png
"V" device, gold.svgAward numeral 1.png
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Naval Aviator Badge Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Distinguished Service Medal (US Navy)[16] Defense Meritorious Service Medal Air Medal w/ Valor device and Strike/Flight numeral "1" Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 2 bronze service stars Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal w/ 1 silver service star National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 bronze service stars
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 bronze campaign stars Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 1 bronze service star Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ gold Hourglass Devices
Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ bronze star Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation w/ bronze laurel leaf palm emblem Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation w/ bronze laurel leaf palm emblem Vietnam Campaign Medal w/ silver date bar

Personal life[edit]

Bergman lives in a home that he built in Watersmeet, a small town on the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula, with his wife Cindy. They have eight grandchildren.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Livengood, Chad (2016-01-14). "Retired U.P. Marine files for GOP congressional primary". Detroitnews.com. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  2. ^ a b Gibbons, Lauren (August 2, 2016). "Jack Bergman victorious in 1st Congressional District Republican primary". MLive. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "Medium- Lt. General Jack Bergman (Ret.) to Become Highest-Ranking Military Veteran Ever Sworn into Congress". Harperpolling.com. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  4. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved January 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Michigan U.S. House 1st District Results: Jack Bergman Wins". The New York Times. November 15, 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Bennett, John (November 9, 2016). "New Member: GOP's Jack Bergman Claims Michigan's 1st District". Roll Call. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Ann, Kuster, (2017-11-21). "Cosponsors - H.R.1545 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): VA Prescription Data Accountability Act 2017". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-25. 
  8. ^ a b Meloni, Rod; Rep. Jack Bergman describes shooting at baseball practice: 'I just basically went into a low crawl'; ClickOnDetroit; June 14, 2017; https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/michigan/rep-jack-bergman-describes-shooting-at-baseball-practice-i-just-basically-went-into-a-low-crawl
  9. ^ Trunko, Matthew; Rep. Jack Bergman: Media 'complicit' in spread of hateful rhetoric that led to congressional baseball shooting; Washington Examiner; June 14, 2017; http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/rep-jack-bergman-media-complicit-in-spread-of-hateful-rhetoric-that-led-to-congressional-baseball-shooting/article/2626002
  10. ^ Interview with Jack Bergman, 1st Congressional Dist. Republican Candidate; UpNorthLive; July 26, 2016; http://upnorthlive.com/news/election/interview-with-jack-bergman-1st-congressional-dist-republican-candidate
  11. ^ Cassleman, David; Running for First: Marine Corps general shakes up race in 1st Congressional; Interlochen Public Radio; March 23, 2016; http://interlochenpublicradio.org/post/running-first-marine-corps-general-shakes-race-1st-congressional
  12. ^ Bergman cosponsors bill to eliminate health care exemptions for members of congress; May 2, 2017; Upper Michigan Source; http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/content/news/Bergman-cosponsors-bill-to-eliminate-health-care-exemptions-for-members-of-congress-421048983.html
  13. ^ Winchester, Flannery; Rep. Jack Bergman: A Congressman for climate-conscious youth; Citizen's Climate Lobby; September 29, 2017; https://citizensclimatelobby.org/rep-jack-bergman-congressman-climate-conscious-youth/
  14. ^ Magid, Aaron; Meet Jack Bergman: The Former Pilot Now in Congress; Jewish Insider; August 8, 2017; http://jewishinsider.com/12526/meet-jack-bergman-former-pilot-now-congress/
  15. ^ Hunter, Wil; Meet Republican congressional candidate Jack Bergman; Up Matters; http://www.upmatters.com/news/local-news/meet-republican-congressional-candidate-jack-bergman/461595749
  16. ^ "Valor Awards for John W. Bergman". Military Times. Retrieved March 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Benishek
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 1st congressional district

2017–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Nanette Barragan
D-California
United States Representatives by seniority
375th
Succeeded by
Andy Biggs
R-Arizona