Wade Zirkle is a decorated American military veteran of the Iraq War. He is the founder and former executive director of the Vets For Freedom Action Fund, a political action committee (PAC) whose stated mission is to "help candidates-mostly combat veterans-who believe in achieving success in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the overall War on Terrorism, get elected to the United States Congress and other Federal positions."
Zirkle served two combat tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, first as a Light Armored Vehicle platoon commander with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion during the invasion of 2003, and then as a rifle platoon commander with the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines in the First Battle of Fallujah in 2004. During his second deployment to Iraq, he was badly burned as a result of an insurgent suicide bomb attack on a convoy he was in. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.
He returned to Iraq for the third time as a civilian freelance journalist in 2006, where he was embedded with the Iraqi Army in Ramadi. He was the first American journalist to report that the new American counter-insurgency strategy being implemented in Anbar Province was working, and later wrote controversial editorials in the Philadelphia Inquirer  and The Weekly Standard  claiming the "oilspot strategy" was seeing signs of success in Iraq. It was not until three months later, that the Los Angeles Times was the next newspaper to report such news, as it stated "tribal leaders in Anbar province were turning against the Al Qaeda resistance." It was not until 11 month after Zirkle's initial report that the New York Times acknowledged that Anbar was "undergoing a surprising transformation". In 2009 he wrote for the Fox News Channel while he was embedded with U.S. troops and Afghan Commandos on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Zirkle is currently a managing partner of the financial services firm StrongPoint Capital, LLC, in Woodstock, Virginia. He previously worked for Lehman Brothers Asset Management and was on Wall Street during the 2008 financial crisis. Originally from Edinburg, Virginia, Zirkle graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2000.
In October 2006, the CBS Evening News was criticized for giving free airtime to Zirkle  to promote a force increase in Iraq of 30,000 troops. Four months later, President George W. Bush announced the increase of 24,000 troops, leading many left-wing activists to speculate that Vets for Freedom was coordinating a Republican Party-orchestrated public relations campaign.
Articles by Wade Zirkle
- A Fifth Star for General Petreaus; by Pete Hegseth and Wade Zirkle; The Wall Street Journal
- U.S. Probes Whether Afghan Forces Colluded With Taliban in Deadly Attack; by Wade Zirkle; Fox News
- The View From the Chow Hall; by Josh Clark and Wade Zirkle; The Wall Street Journal
- The Birth of an Army; by David Bellavia, Owen West and Wade Zirkle, The Weekly Standard
- In Ramadi, a Test of Iraqi Forces by David Bellavia and Wade Zirkle, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Troops in Support of the War; by Wade Zirkle, The Washington Post
- When Media Pull Back, Coverage is a Casualty by Wade Zirkle, Philadelphia Inquirer
- "Remember Our Unsung Heroes". 11 September 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "Birth of an Army". 24 July 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Nation & World | Anbar province revitalized as it tames insurgents | Seattle Times Newspaper
- "StrongPoint Holdings". Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- Johnson, Dave (16 October 2006). "CBS News Provides Free Airtime To Vets For Freedom Action Fund - A Campaign Organization". Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- cite needed
- Vets For Freedom official site
- Wade Zirkle Televised Commentary
- Wade Zirkle debates Michael Blake on C-Span. Paste URL into browser: rtsp://video.c-span.org/archive/c06/c06_wj102906_blake_zirkle.rm
- Congressman John Murtha Fires Back at Wade Zirkle on The Huffington Post Blog
- Comprehensive listing of Wade Zirkle media sourcing.