Congressman Ryan Zinke (MT-00) serves the people of Montana as their sole Representative in the United States House. Ryan is a fifth generation Montanan, former state senator, and a 23-year U.S. Navy SEAL veteran. In 2014, Ryan became the first Navy SEAL elected to the House. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources. Ryan is a Constitutional conservative who believes in the vision the forefathers laid out which separates powers between the three branches and ensures the sovereignty of our states. As a Navy SEAL, State Senator and now a Member of Congress, Ryan swore an oath to defend the Constitution. His decisions are based on upholding the Constitution and doing what is right for Montana and America.
Ryan’s distinguished military career began in 1985 when he graduated from Officer Candidate School and attended SEAL training (class 136). He was first assigned to SEAL Team ONE in Coronado, CA, then was later selected to SEAL Team SIX where he was a Team Leader, Ground Force Commander, Task Force Commander and Current Operations Officer in support of National Command Authority missions.
In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Ryan was assigned as Deputy and acting Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula where he led a force of over 3,500 Special Operations personnel in Iraq. In 2006 he was awarded two Bronze Stars.
Throughout his career, Ryan also served as the Special Operations Officer in Europe, and served as the SEAL Commander of Joint Task Force TWO in support of Special Operations missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo. Ryan’s final Naval assignment was establishing the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command where he served as “Dean” of the Naval Special Warfare graduate school with a staff of over 250 educators, which provided over 43 college level courses to over 2500 students annually at 15 different locations worldwide. He retired from active duty 2008 after serving 23 years as a US Navy SEAL.
In 2008, Ryan was elected to the Montana State Senate, where he chaired the Senate Education Committee and served on the Senate Finance and Claims Committee. As a State Senator he was a leading advocate for strong family values, restoring individual and economic freedoms, energy independence, and helping veterans receive proper care. He was a proud recipient of numerous awards from the Montana Chamber of Commerce and the Rural School Association.
Ryan is a fifth generation Montanan with deep family roots in Bozeman, Glasgow, Glendive, Whitefish, and Richey. He was a multiple sport, All-State standout, and is a Whitefish High School Football Hall of Fame inductee. Ryan attended the University of Oregon on an athletic scholarship and graduated with a B.S. in Geology. As a four-year letterman, he received numerous awards to include All-Pacific TEN honors, the Pacific TEN Medal, the University Sahlstrom Award, and the prestigious Emerald Cup for academic, athletic, and leadership excellence. In 1996 and again in 1997, Ryan was selected for Most Outstanding Young Men in America honors. He also holds a Masters in Business Finance and a Masters in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego. Ryan is married to the former Lolita Hand. They have three children: two boys, Wolfgang and Konrad, and a daughter Jennifer, who is a former U.S. Navy Diver and whose husband is a Navy SEAL.