I help keep the congressman
informed of the issues of the day.
He’s chairman of the Veterans
Affairs Committee, he’s also on the
House Permanent Select Committee for Intelligence. My job is to
keep my ear to the ground, make
sure that if there are issues that he
needs to be informed of he is
informed of them, also to prepare
him to ask the good, tough questions in hearings.
I do a lot of writing, background
memos on pending issues and legislation, recommendations for
votes that fall in the issue areas
that I cover.
I also help him keep his eye on
the district. He represents Naval
Air Station Pensacola, Naval Air
Station Whiting Field, Eglin Air
Force Base and Hurlburt Field, so
there is a huge military population
there. Helping him communicate
the value of those institutions to
the joint force is something that I
work on quite a bit.
I came in right as the budget
turmoil hit its height, so I really
haven’t known anything other than
what we’ve seen over the last three
years. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s
nothing compared to what it
means for the men and women in
uniform who are charged with
defending the nation. The world
isn’t any safer today than it was
before the sequester.
I think there is a lot to like in the
[recently approved budget] deal. It’s
not perfect, it doesn’t necessarily
address the true drivers of our long-
term debt, but it provides much-
needed relief to the armed forces
and it provides certainty to the
planners in the DoD [Department
of Defense] and private industry. It
gives the appropriators the opportu-
nity to craft their appropriations
bills rather than continuing under
these continuing resolutions. These
are all really good things. It’s not
perfect, but I think it’s a positive
Earlier this year , I did a
period of active duty down at 2nd
Marine Expeditionary Force supporting Exercise Bold Alligator, the
Navy and Marine Corps amphibious exercise, and while I was on
the USS Bataan I actually crossed
paths with two Sea Cadet buddies
from back in the day. One is a Navy
H- 60 pilot and the other is a
Marine artillery officer.
And we were all aboard the USS
Bataan participating in this exercise, it was one of those “small
world” happenings, but it was
good to see some of my Sea Cadet
colleagues finding success
Editor’s note: Nelson served as Rep.
Miller’s military legislative assistant from
February 2011 until December 2013. He
transitioned to a new position Dec. 30.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY 2014
“I came in right as the budget turmoil hit its height,
so I really haven’t known anything other than what
we’ve seen over the last three years. It hasn’t been
easy, but it’s nothing compared to what it means for
the men and women in uniform who are charged
with defending the nation. The world isn’t any safer
today than it was before the sequester.”
Capt Gilbert M. Nelson, U.S. Marine
Corps Reserve, left, with U.S. Rep.
Jeff Miller, R-Fla.