Sen. James Inhofe, MOAA Legislative Award Honoree, to Retire Early Next Year

Sen. James Inhofe, MOAA Legislative Award Honoree, to Retire Early Next Year
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., greets airmen during a 2016 visit to Tinker Air Force base, Okla. (Photo by Darren D. Heusel/Air Force)

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, an Army veteran who received MOAA’s Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award in 2021, will leave the Senate in early 2023, he announced last month.


Inhofe, 87, serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a group he chaired from 2018 to 2021 and has been a member of since 1995. He joined the Senate the previous year after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (1987-1994), as mayor of Tulsa (1978-1984), and in the Oklahoma state legislature (1967-1977).


MOAA honored Inhofe in 2021 for his work on the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included a number of MOAA-supported provisions designed to improve the quality of life of servicemembers and their families. Inhofe also was an original co-sponsor of the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act of 2019, a key reason the phased repeal of the Survivor Benefit Plan-Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (SBP-DIC) offset was part of the FY 2020 NDAA.


[RELATED: MOAA’s 2021 Annual Award Winners]


“MOAA holds a deep appreciation for Senator Inhofe’s commitment to our uniformed servicemembers and veterans, as well as their families and survivors, throughout his time in Congress,” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA’s president and CEO. “With a dedication rooted in his own time in uniform, his leadership has moved countless benefit improvements through an often-challenging legislative process. MOAA wishes Senator Inhofe and his family the very best.”


Inhofe’s career in public service began with a two-year hitch in the Army after being drafted in 1957.


“Although I had to take some time off from school to serve, I do not regret it for a moment,” Inhofe told MOAA. “I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today if it had not been for my experiences in the military and the discipline that comes with it.”


[RELATED: MOAA's Legislative Action Center]


Inhofe cited the passage of the FY 2023 NDAA as part of his “work yet to do for Oklahomans over these next nine months” in his retirement letter. 


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley