May 17, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to establish a first-of-its-kind Senate fellowship program for wounded American veterans. The program, called the McCain-Mansfield Fellowship, would give each Senate office the opportunity to hire a qualified veteran for a two-year fellowship. The positions could be in a senator’s state or Washington, D.C., office. The fellowship program’s name honors the late Arizona Senator John McCain, who was severely wounded and held as a POW while serving in the Vietnam War, and the late Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield who served during World War I.
“America’s veterans – particularly those who have suffered injuries in the line of duty – understand the importance of national service in a deeply profound way,” said Senator King. “These dedicated public servants have already made immense contributions to America, and we should continue to create new opportunities for them to strengthen our nation. The fellowship will help veterans gain valuable experience, and help Congress create sound public policy that better serves our veterans and our nation. This is a strong piece of bipartisan legislation, worthy of bearing the name of great public servants like Senators McCain and Mansfield; Congress should advance this effort quickly.”
In addition to Senator King, the legislation is supported by Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
The program is modelled after the House of Representatives’ successful Wounded Warrior Fellowship Program, which was established in 2008. Veteran eligibility for the program would be determined by the following:
• Applicants must be honorably discharged veterans, released from active duty within the last five years.
• Applicants must be at or below the pay grades of O-3 for Officers and E-5 for Enlisted members.
• Applicants must also have a 20-percent or more service-connected disability rating. Purple Heart Recipients are exempt from the service connected disability rating requirement, but must meet all other requirements to receive consideration.
• Veterans who are in receipt of a 20-year or Temporary Early Retirement Authorization (TERA) retirement are not eligible for the program.