SERVICE MAN. In the eyes of retired Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis, Americans need help understanding what the military is all about. As the Family Research Council's senior fellow for national security, he hopes to change that. He will be the point person on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from openly serving in the military, and he will advise on other defense issues. Maginnis graduated from U.S. Military Academy in 1973 and served as an infantryman for 20 years. Since then, he has worked as an adviser for the Army, a columnist for Human Events magazine and an analyst for FOX News. He also worked at the Family Research Council previously as a vice president. Carrying the torch for veterans' families, he served as executive director of Checks for Heroes, a nonprofit that raised money for children of soldiers killed in combat (it has since folded). The country's active forces number a little over 1.4 million -- a small percentage of the 310 million that live within its borders. Consequently, most Americans fail to understand the sacrifices made by the military and their families, Maginnis argues. Maginnis left the Pentagon in 1993 after a stint as an inspector general, but he has since served in a variety of roles with the Army, most recently on multinational issues.
GRIDIRON MAN. For Jonathan Nabavi, recently named legislative counsel for Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, donning the blue and white uniform of a Penn State Nittany Lion was preordained. "I actually grew up about four blocks from Beaver Stadium ... with the roar of the game-day crowd echoing in my ear," says Nabavi, who joined the Penn State football team as a walk-on. His prowess on the gridiron was matched by dedication in the classroom, much to the relief of his father, "who wasn't as interested in football as I was," he says. Nabavi would become the first varsity player to graduate from the university's Schreyer Honors College. During his senior year, Nabavi interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, which stoked his interest in international affairs. After receiving his degree, he enrolled in six months of intensive language instruction at the Paris-Sorbonne University before eventually landing at the George Washington University Law School, where his formal instruction was complemented by a "practical education" as an intern with the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Nabavi was most recently a legal fellow with the House Budget Committee. In his new position, he will attend to King's work on the House Judiciary Committee, where his is ranking member of the Immigration Subcommittee.
This article appears in the July 17, 2010, edition of NJ Daily.