In Nov. 2014, Joni Ernst became the first woman to serve in a federal elected office from Iowa and also the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the United States Senate.
Senator Ernst serves on four Senate committees of major importance to Iowans: Armed Services; Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Environment and Public Works; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She is focused on growing a vibrant economy and ensuring the government runs effectively and efficiently, which means cutting out-of-control spending, reducing taxes, eliminating harmful regulations and balancing the budget. Senator Ernst received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University where she joined the university’s R.O.T.C. program. After graduating she joined the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2003, she served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military service.