Retired Army Officer Now Advocates for Troop Benefits on the Hill

Retired Army Officer Now Advocates for Troop Benefits on the Hill
(Photo by Mike Morones for MOAA)

[Note from MOAA: Retired Army Lt. Col. Dan Sennott is a recipient of MOAA's Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award, which honors congressional staffers who have made significant contributions in support of the military community. Read about all of MOAA's 2019 award winners here.]

By Kristin Davis

Asking Dan Sennott to pick out his greatest achievement during the last Congress is like asking him to choose a favorite child: He just can't.

Sennott, who was majority staff member on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) under Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo), says his work - and the work of the entire Military Personnel Subcommittee - “positively impacts the lives of so many servicemembers and veterans.”

From pay and benefits to health care and retirement, Sennott's work directly touches the day-to-day lives of America's troops. As lead staff member on the subcommittee, Sennott supported full military pay raises and helped preserve the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) benefit as part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, facilitating its passage well before the end of the year. His work also helped grandfather out-of-pocket costs for TRICARE beneficiaries from the 2017 NDAA, which was crucial to preventing excessive increases - advocacy that earned Sennott MOAA's 2019 Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award.

For Sennott, this work is personal. Military service was in the Sennott family DNA, dating back to World War I, and Dan commissioned as an Armor second lieutenant in 1995, after attending Wisconsin's Marquette University on an Army ROTC scholarship. Though he initially planned to stay in just long enough to fulfill his initial commitment, he found he loved the Army and served for more than two decades, retiring in 2015 to join the HASC.

Sennott's military career began at Fort Riley, Kan., where he spent four years as a tank platoon leader, company executive officer, and battalion S-4 before being selected for the Army's Funded Legal Education Program. He transferred to the Army JAG Corps in 2002 after earning his law degree from the University of Illinois.

Over the next dozen years, Sennott served as trial counsel, law professor, legislative liaison, and chief of Military Personnel Law in the Army Office of the Judge Advocate General. Sennott also spent 15 months in Iraq with the 1st Armored Division and 12 months in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division.

Sennott's work with the HASC is an extension of his service, a chance to continue to do his part to defend the nation. And he's ready for what's next. Sennott is now Minority General Counsel for the HASC and minority staff lead for the Military Personnel Subcommittee.

Related reading: MOAA's 2019 Award Winners.

Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe

Sen. Jon Tester

Distinguished Service Award

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Dana Bowman


Colonel Paul W. Arcari Meritorious Service Award

Former Staff Sgt. Ray Kelley

Tony McClain

Retired Lt. Col. Dan Sennott