I was born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee, where I was active in Church and school functions, Boy Scouts, and Royal Rangers, played backyard sports, rode bikes with friends, refereed youth basketball, and enjoyed hanging out at the mall and cruising on weekends with friends. I especially enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, and football, participating in organized and school leagues, lettering in multiple sports in high school, and playing in two baseball leagues most summers.
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've been 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 East Tennessee Vice Commander for the American Legion Department of Tennessee, the 2nd Vice Commander of American Legion Hammond Post 3 in Kingsport, and President of the Battle of Blountville Civil War Military Park Association. I also host a monthly Veterans Coffee Roundtable, I sponsor a scholarship, and I'm working on a few books, one is about Veterans' suicide.
In addition to Veterans Service, I'm active in politics, at the local, state, and national levels, where I’ve advised and assisted political 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 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 CommonSense Conservatives, published articles, and have done political commentary, especially on the Todd McKinley Commentary podcast, and social media pages, and occasionally on NEWSMAX. Currently, I serve on the Sullivan County (Tennessee) Republican Party Executive Committee as a Member at Large, and I'm currently a candidate for Sullivan County School Board in District 5.
My civilian and military education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security, a Master of Science in Leadership with a major concentration in Global Leadership from Duquesne University, Certificates in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, and Leaders of Learning from Harvard University.