The following guest post by Phil Van Treuren appeared in Campaigns & Elections on August 29th, 2014.
Although my time as a soldier ended in 2008, I’ll always be grateful for the many life lessons I learned in the U.S. Army. It wasn’t easy, but neither was running for political office.
Running a good campaign takes discipline and attention to detail. And when you’re running for local office, you rarely have a high-paid political team to fall back on. Without the training I received from the greatest military in the world, I’m confident my first run for office would have proven a much tougher task.
I ran my first campaign the year after I left the military, and found myself frequently drawing upon my Army training as I campaigned for city council in Amherst, Ohio. In the end, I was successful on Election Day, and was proud to be the top vote-getter in an at-large race for three seats.
I infused my city council campaign with many of the same strategies I learned in the Army, and along the way I discovered just how applicable they were to running local races. I’m currently serving my third term on the city council.
You don’t have to be former soldier to apply these lessons to your own campaign—just be willing to work hard and take pride in everything you do.