By Derrick DePledge
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been assigned a coveted slot on the House Armed Services Committee.
Hawaii has traditionally had a seat on the committee, but U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will give up her post when she leaves the House after this term. Hanabusa is challenging U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary.
Gabbard, a freshman, snagged the spot over more seasoned Democrats.
As a twice-deployed combat veteran, and Captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard, I take very seriously the responsibility to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. This spring, as tough debates take place about the National Defense Authorization in the House, I will continue my work to support our servicemembers and their families, and to bring our troops home quickly and safely from Afghanistan. I look forward to working towards ensuring sound national security policy, and to cut waste and inefficiency within the Defense Department. I will continue my bipartisan efforts to reform our military justice system in order to end the epidemic of military sexual assault.
Hawaii plays a significant role in advancing our defense and foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region, and this appointment ensures Hawaii will continue to have a voice on this critical committee. I am honored to join the committee and look forward to working with all of its members as we set priorities and funding levels for the Department of Defense, provide for our men and women in uniform, and support a robust national security strategy that focuses on emerging threats around the globe.