Dakota Wood, a retired Marine with 20 years of service, announced last Friday that he's running for Congress in Oklahoma as a Republican in the Second Congressional District.
“I believe America truly is an exceptional country. The values on which our country was built are the same bedrock Oklahoma values my wife and I were raised on right here in Claremore. The lack of political discipline in Washington, DC, however, has placed our ‘exceptional’ status at risk. I am ready and determined to take these values back to Congress and continue to serve the citizens of the 2nd Congressional District as I have done for over 25 years both in uniform and in the national security community,” Wood said in a statement announcing his candidacy.
Wood retired from the service as a lieutenant colonel and is an Iraq war veteran, according to his official biography:
Dakota graduated as the valedictorian and president of his class at Sequoyah High School in Rogers County in 1981 and received Oklahoma Congressional and Senatorial appointments to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. After graduating from one of the toughest outfits at the Academy, the 18th Company, Dakota immediately went on to have a distinguished career as a United States Marine for the next 20 years, retiring as an accomplished and seasoned Lieutenant Colonel.
In service as a Marine, Dakota participated in the planning and execution of operations around the world to include Operation Enduring Freedom following the attacks of 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom to depose Saddam Hussein. Dakota culminated his career conducting studies on military, technology, economic and political matters for the Commandant of the Marine Corps and senior officials at the highest levels of the Defense Department.
Recently, since retiring, Wood has fashioned himself as a military expert, writing articles and speaking out against trimming back the military in a time of war. "The Marine Corps is increasingly concerned that its amphibious skills have atrophied to worrisome levels and that its selection of equipment may be both ill-suited for the task and more expensive than it can afford," Wood wrote in an article for the American Interest. "Those worries are justified. The service’s acquisition efforts and operational concepts have not kept pace with changes in the operational and threat environments with which it will have to contend. In addition, the Corps has not effectively challenged the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding program, which has resulted in a steady decline in the number of amphibious ships it operates. This latter point is most troubling; if there aren’t enough amphibious ships to get Marine Corps forces where they need to be, it won’t matter how light or well trained its forces are."