Ryan was a U.S. Navy SEAL for 23 years so he knows what it takes to fight for Montana and America. Join Ryan and help him continue his commitment to restoring the power of the Constitution, cutting the politics and delivering more leadership to Washington, D.C.
With a focus on giving back to the community, state and country that blessed him with so much, Ryan Zinke serves Montana as their sole Representative in the United States House. Whether it's improving services at the VA, reforming management of federal lands, or preserving the future of family farming and ranching, Ryan uses his strong Montana values to make government work and deliver results for the people of Montana.Learn More
With a focus on giving back to the community, state and country that blessed him with so much, Ryan Zinke serves Montana as their sole Representative in the United States House. Whether it's improving services at the VA, reforming management of federal lands, or preserving the future of family farming and ranching, Ryan uses his strong Montana values to make government work and deliver results for the people of Montana. As a Navy SEAL, State Senator and now Congressman, Ryan took the same oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, and he takes that oath seriously.
A fifth generation Montanan
Ryan is a fifth generation Montanan with deep family roots in Bozeman, Glasgow, Glendive, Whitefish, and
Richey. As a child, Ryan was very close to his grandmother, a one-room schoolhouse teacher from Richey, and
learned the importance of hard work, faith, family, honesty and personal responsibility from her at a young
Growing up at the gateway to Glacier National Park, Ryan's love and appreciation for Montana's outdoor heritage began early and still continues to grow to this day. Spending as much time as he could outside as a kid growing up in the heart of northwest Montana, Ryan was a multiple sport, all-state standout, a Whitefish High School Football Hall of Fame inductee, and 1979 Montana Boys State participant.
After graduating high school, Ryan attended the University of Oregon on an athletic scholarship, played four years for the Oregon Ducks football team, and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Geology. As a four-year letterman, he received numerous awards including All-Pacific TEN honors and the prestigious Emerald Cup for academic, athletic and leadership excellence. Ryan also holds a Masters in Business Finance and a Masters in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.
Ryan met the love of his life, the former Lolita Hand, when he was an officer in the Navy SEALs and Lola was working as the local bi-lingual public defender. Ryan and Lola 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. They are also the proud grandparents to two wonderful granddaughters.
Service to our country
Driven by a strong passion for service to his country, Ryan joined the U.S. Navy. Ryan's distinguished
military career began in 1985 when he graduated from Officer Candidate School and attended SEAL training
(BUDS class 136). He was first assigned to SEAL Team ONE in Coronado, CA, then was later selected for 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.
After over a decade of exemplary service, Ryan was assigned as Deputy and Acting Commander of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM where he led a force of over 3,500 Special Operations personnel in Iraq. In 2006 he was awarded two Bronze Stars for combat.
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. He retired from active duty 2008 after serving 23 years as a US Navy SEAL.
Ryan's second service
Motivated by the idea of improving U.S. military policy abroad, strengthening the livelihoods of all
Montanans, and passing down a brighter future to the next generation, Ryan decided to bring his public
service to the next level and run for Congress in 2014. Ryan was elected by a 15-point margin, winning the
support of Montanans from all walks of life, united by the common goal of Less Politics, More Leadership.
Ryan was sworn in to the House of Representatives on January 6, 2015 and became the first Navy SEAL in the House. As a Navy SEAL, State Senator and Congressman, Ryan took the same oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, and takes that oath seriously. He was selected to sit on the Natural Resources Committee and Armed Services Committee.
As the only veteran in Montana's Congressional Delegation, Ryan is a steadfast advocate for Montana veterans and military personnel and families. In just a few short months, Ryan has also made his mark on Congress as a staunch defender of Montana public lands and as a strong advocate for American energy independence.
Before being elected to Congress, Ryan served in the Montana State Senate. Ryan's colleagues recognized his experience and leadership, he was selected to chair the Senate Education Committee where he made important advancements in advancing technology in the classroom, rural access to education and enhancing local control over local schools. He also served on the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.
Zinke Calls For Five Debates, Two in Indian Country (MISSOULA, MT) June 9, 2016 — Today Rep. Ryan Zinke called for his two challengers to accept a series of five debates, including two in Indian Country, which span TV, print, and radio mediums. Three of the debates would be traditional format, two would be town hall-style where […] Read more...Date Posted: November 23, 2015
Originally published on 11/19/15 at The Hill. By Kristina Wong – 11/19/15 04:47 PM EST Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mt.), an Iraq War veteran and retired Navy SEAL commander, hailed the bipartisan House passage of the bill requiring stricter background checks of Iraqi and Syrian refugees, which he helped author. “I’m proud of Congress as a […] Read more...Date Posted: August 31, 2015
Why would the United States hand over a nuclear bomb to a nation that continually violates nuclear inspection laws? To a nation that is the largest state-sponsor of terrorism in the world, a nation that holds Americans hostage, and to a nation that chants "Death to America" while burning our flag? Read more...Date Posted: August 28, 2015
Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., who is from Whitefish, connected Northwest Montana's multiple wildfires to his bill that would aim to increase harvest and fuel treatment on federal forests. Read more...Read All News
The economy is improving, but not fast enough. The labor participation rate is the lowest it’s been in generations because people have simply given up looking for a job. Meanwhile, families are forced to struggle with stagnant wages while the cost of living just keeps going up.
Ryan believes America is exceptional and our economy is strong when Washington stops meddling with our livelihoods and lets us innovate and create jobs. Whether it’s historic forest reforms to revitalize timber communities, rein in regulations on our natural resources, like coal, oil and natural gas, or simply cutting taxes and red tape for farmers, ranchers and small businesses, Ryan is committed to growing our local economies and moving Montana and America forward.
Ryan is a decorated veteran, having spent 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL. He believes in peace through strength and that America has a responsibility to assist our allies in times of need and carry out humanitarian aid missions.
Montana is one of the leading states in the nation with nearly 1 in 10 of us serving in the military. Being the only veteran in Montana’s Congressional delegation, Ryan knows how important it is to fully fund our military, provide for our troops and honor our promises to our veterans. That’s why Ryan has continually advocated for giving our troops a pay raise and improving care at the VA and for veterans who live more than 40 miles away from the closest VA facility.
“There are some things that are not negotiable: Faith, Family, the Constitution… and you better add guns and land if you’re a Montanan.” – Ryan Zinke
Ryan is a fifth generation Montanan who grew up right outside Glacier National Park. Whether it’s defending our right to bear arms or ensuring mixed use of our beautiful public lands, Ryan knows that it’s our core Montana values that make Montana the Last Best Place.
Ryan’s love and appreciation for Montana’s outdoor heritage began early and still continues to grow to this day. Ryan is one of the most outspoken advocates for better federal management of public lands and continues to introduce and support bipartisan legislation to ensure public access and traditional mixed use.
Ryan is a staunch advocate of our right to bear arms. He believes our Second Amendment rights protect all the others. Ryan fully supports the rights of lawful gun and ammo ownership and he will not tolerate anyone trying to take that away through Congressional or Executive action.
Ryan Zinke 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.
If you believe America's best days are ahead of us and share a passion for moving Montana forward with more leadership and less politics, sign up to join our campaign. Whether you're knocking on doors, volunteering at events, or just talking with your neighbors about the issues facing our state and nation, your help goes a long way.