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I was born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee, where I was active in Church, participating in plays, Vacation Bible School, Royal Rangers, Boy Scouts, and school programs such as Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Course (NJROTC), Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) (now known as SkillsUSA), and Drama. Growing up, I enjoyed playing with my dogs and backyard sports, riding bikes with friends, refereed youth basketball, hanging out at the mall, and cruising on weekends with friends. I especially enjoyed baseball, basketball, and football, participating in organized and school leagues, lettering in multiple sports in high school, and playing in two baseball leagues most years.

On April 27th, 1996, while a senior at Sullivan North High School, I enlisted in the U.S. Army, officially becoming a Service Member on October 2nd, 1996. Early on, I was recognized for my leadership and advanced through the ranks, spending 17 years, 2 months, and 11 days as a Noncommissioned Officer, and 11 years and 11 months as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer, holding numerous leadership positions, a Secret and subsequently a Top Secret/Secure Compartmented Information Clearance w/ Presidential level Yankee White access, retiring on October 31st, 2016 after 20 years and 29 days of faithful and honorable service.

I served around the world, including 6 ½ years at the White House Military Office, where I traveled under a Diplomatic passport outside the United States. I also served in Iraq on a Military Transition Team advising the Iraqi Army and Police Forces, in Afghanistan as a Platoon Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division, and as a Liaison to the Combined Joint Task Force-East during the 2012 “military surge.” Amongst my military and civilian awards and decorations are a Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Presidential Service Badge, and an appointment as a Kentucky Colonel. 

In my post-military life, I'm very active with Veterans Service Organizations, serving as an officer at various levels, and on local, state, and national boards, councils, commissions, and committees. Presently, I'm the American Legion Department of Tennessee's Senior Vice Commander, 1st Vice Commander of American Legion Hammond Post 3 in Kingsport, President of the Battle of Blountville Civil War Military Park Association, host of a monthly Veterans Coffee Roundtable, sponsor of a scholarship at West Ridge High School, volunteer with the Indian Springs Optimist Club, and I'm writing a few books, one about Veterans' suicide.

I'm also active in local, state, and national level politics, advising, assisting, and donating to candidates, campaigns, and conservative organizations. In 2017, I served with President Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, and as a Tennessee state delegate to the Young Republicans National Convention. In 2018, I ran for Congress in TN-01, receiving more than 3x the number of votes the “experts” predicted. During the Trump-Pence Administration, I served as a White House Staff Associate as an Advance Representative, where I traveled under an Official passport when traveling outside the country. In 2019, I began writing articles, and in 2020, I served as a Staff Lead for President Trump’s re-election campaign. Since May 12th, 2021, I've co-hosted a weekly radio show called the Common Sense Conservatives, and have done political commentary occasionally on NEWSMAX, especially on my podcast and social media page the Todd McKinley Commentary to name a few. I also serve on the Sullivan County (Tennessee) Republican Party Executive Committee as a Member at Large, and I'm the Republican nominee for the Sullivan County School Board in District 5.

My civilian and military education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security, a Master of Science Leadership: Global Leadership from Duquesne University, Certificates in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, and Leaders of Learning from Harvard University. I'm also a member of a couple of National Honor Societies, alumni associations, and other organizations. 

Contact me, email me at Todd@toddmckinley.com, or look around, to find out more.

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