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Derrick Van Orden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Derrick Van Orden
Van Orden in 2022
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byRon Kind
Personal details
Derrick Francis Van Orden

(1969-09-15) September 15, 1969 (age 54)
Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseSara Jane Van Orden
EducationExcelsior University (BS)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1988–2014
RankSenior Chief Petty Officer
UnitUnited States Navy SEALs

Derrick Francis Van Orden (born September 15, 1969) is an American politician, businessman, actor, and retired United States Navy SEAL who is the U.S. representative for Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district.[1] He is a member of the Republican Party.

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Early life, education, and military service

Van Orden was born in Minnesota.[2] He holds a bachelor's degree from Excelsior University, a private online university.[3]

Van Orden joined the United States Navy in 1988 when he was 18 years old. He received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in 1992. After months of training, Van Orden graduated with BUD/S class 184 in October 1992. Van Orden received assignment to SEAL Team FOUR at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia. Following advanced SEAL training and completion of a six month probationary period, he received the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) 5326 as a Combatant Swimmer (SEAL), entitled to wear the Special Warfare insignia.[4] He served for 26 years, retiring as a Senior Chief in 2014.[5][6]

During his military career, Van Orden served five combat deployments.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives



Van Orden was the Republican nominee for Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district in the 2020 election, losing to incumbent Democrat Ron Kind by a margin of about three percentage points.[7]

Then President Donald Trump endorsed Van Orden's 2020 campaign.[8]

Van Orden attended the January 6th "Stop the Steal" rally[9] and was present at the United States Capitol during the January 6 United States Capitol attack.[10][11]


Van Orden was the Republican nominee for Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district in the 2022 election. The seat was open following incumbent Democrat Ron Kind's decision not to run for re-election. Van Orden focused his 2022 campaign on his military service and the economy.[12][13] Former President Donald Trump endorsed Van Orden's 2022 campaign.[8]

Van Orden defeated Democratic state senator Brad Pfaff in the general election.[12]


As of November 2023, Van Orden served on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.[14]

Van Orden was giving a Capitol tour on the evening of July 26, 2023, when he happened upon Senate pages lying on the floor of the United States Capitol rotunda taking photos of the interior of the Capitol dome (this is a traditional activity for the pages during their final week of service).[15][16] Van Orden allegedly swore at the pages and told them to get off the floor.[16][17] Van Orden's behavior was condemned by his fellow Republicans, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Thom Tillis, who said, "This is inexcusable and embarrassing behavior for a member of Congress or any adult for that matter. The Congressman should do the right thing and apologize."[16]

Van Orden allegedly had an outburst during a White House briefing on the 2023 Israel–Hamas war.[18]

During President Joe Biden's 2024 State of the Union address, Van Orden shouted "lies" after Biden criticized Donald Trump over Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.[19]

He is an avid supporter of Mike Johnson and Kevin McCarthy, which has led him to fight with more conservative Republicans opposing their nominations.[20]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Congressional Border Security Caucus
  • Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus
  • Congressional Biofuels Caucus
  • Congressional Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus
  • Congressional Pediatric and Adult Hydrocephalus Caucus
  • Congressional Motorcycle Caucus

Other endeavors

Van Orden played the role of Senior Chief Otto in the 2012 film Act of Valor. He also had roles in the 2018 film Surviving the Wild[21] and Running with the Devil (2019).[citation needed]

In 2015, Van Orden published A Book of Man: A Navy SEAL's Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.[22]

From 2017 to early 2019, Van Orden and his wife operated the Butternut Café[23] in the Village of  Butternut in northern Wisconsin.

On June 17, 2021, Van Orden confronted a teenage library page at Prairie du Chien Memorial Library about a display of books with LGBT themes assembled for Pride Month.[24] Van Orden was particularly upset by A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, a fictional book about the same-sex romance of Marlon Bundo, the real-life pet rabbit of former Vice President Mike Pence. Van Orden submitted a written complaint to the library stating that the book was "skewing young people to think that Republicans are not inclusive. This book is not informational, it is propaganda".[25] A staff member said that Van Orden was "aggressively shoving the books around", was shouting, and wanted to know who had established the display so he could "teach them a lesson".[24]

Personal life

Van Orden and his wife, Sara Jane, have four children and eight grandchildren. He is a Protestant.[26][27] In August 2023, Van Orden's oldest daughter, Sydney Marie Martenis, died of cancer.[28]

On August 27, 2021, Van Orden was cited at the Eastern Iowa Airport for having a loaded handgun in his bag at the security checkpoint. Van Orden called the incident "a mistake"; he paid a fine, completed a gun safety program, and was placed on one year's probation.[29][30]

Electoral history

2022 Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district results by county


2020 Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Derrick Van Orden 36,395 65.9
Republican Jessi Ebben 18,835 34.1
Total votes 55,230 100.0
2020 Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district general election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ron Kind (incumbent) 199,870 51.3
Republican Derrick Van Orden 189,524 48.6
Write-in 224 0.1
Total votes 389,618 100.0


2022 Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Derrick Van Orden 65,164 100
2022 Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district general election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Derrick Van Orden 164,743 51.82
Democratic Brad Pfaff 152,977 48.12
Write-in 202 0.06
Total votes 317,922 100.0


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  2. ^ "Rep. Derrick Van Orden - R Wisconsin, 3rd, In Office - Biography | LegiStorm". Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  3. ^ "Derrick Van Orden". The Hill. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  4. ^ "353: If You Have The Wherewithal To Do Things, Then You Should Do Things. Congressman Candidate (WI) Derrick Van Orden". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved December 25, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Derrick Van Orden". Ballotpedia. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  6. ^ Kirwan, Hope (October 25, 2022). "The 3rd Congressional District was Democratic for 26 years. Now it's a top GOP target". WPR. Retrieved March 20, 2024.
  7. ^ Herken, Olivia (August 10, 2022). "Pfaff wins Democratic primary, will face Van Orden for WI 3rd Congressional District". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Van Orden receives Trump endorsement for Wisconsin race". AP News. August 12, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  9. ^ "In Wisconsin, voters shrug off GOP candidate's Jan. 6 tie". AP News. October 16, 2022. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  10. ^ Solender, Andrew (August 10, 2022). "Jan. 6-linked Derrick Van Orden wins Wisconsin GOP primary for House seat". Axios. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  11. ^ Van Orden, Derrick (January 13, 2021). "Derrick Van Orden: We need Abraham Lincoln now more than ever". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Andrea, Lawrence (November 9, 2022). "Republican Derrick Van Orden defeats Brad Pfaff in Wisconsin's 3rd District, flipping seat". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  13. ^ Edmondson, Catie (November 9, 2022). "Van Orden, Republican Who Attended Jan. 6 Rally, Wins Wisconsin House Seat". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  14. ^ "Committees and Caucuses | Representative Derrick Van Orden". January 3, 2023. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  15. ^ Stieb, Matt (July 28, 2023). "GOP Congressman Defends Cursing Out No-Good Teens at Capitol". Intelligencer. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  16. ^ a b c "GOP lawmaker 'screamed' curse words inches from Senate pages' faces and 'shooed' them, source says". NBC News. July 30, 2023. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  17. ^ "Derrick Van Orden took a bow after cursing at teenage Senate pages in the Capitol, Rep. Mark Pocan says". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  18. ^ Wu, Nicholas; Ferris, Sarah (October 11, 2023). "Democrats furious over Van Orden outburst during White House briefing on Israel terrorist attack". Politico. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  19. ^ Lawrence Andrea. "Derrick Van Orden shouts 'lies!' at Biden during State of the Union". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Derrick Van Orden | Actor, Additional Crew". IMDb. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  22. ^ Orden, Derrick F. Van; Mitchell, Adam (January 1, 2015). Book of Man, A Navy SEAL's Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood (First ed.). S P Publishing. ISBN 978-0-692-42737-8.
  23. ^ Carlson, Seth (June 28, 2017). "Retired Navy SEAL opens Butternut Cafe in downtown Butternut". Rice County Review. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  24. ^ a b "Congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden confronted teen library staffer over Gay Pride display". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. August 24, 2021. Archived from the original on August 25, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  25. ^ Herken, Olivia (August 22, 2021). "Library staff felt 'threatened' after GOP candidate complained about Pride Month display". La Crosse Tribune. Archived from the original on August 25, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  26. ^ "Religious affiliation of members of 118th Congress" (PDF). Pew Research Center. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
  27. ^ "Faith on the Hill: The religious composition of the 118th Congress". Pew Research Center. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  28. ^ Nerozzi, Timothy (August 22, 2023). "Republican congressman reveals death of oldest daughter — and the tragic cause: 'We are heartbroken'". Fox News. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  29. ^ Marley, Patrick (May 9, 2022). "Congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden fined for having a loaded gun in an airport. He calls the incident a mistake". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  30. ^ Herken, Olivia (May 9, 2022). "GOP congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden fined for having loaded gun in Iowa airport". La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved December 27, 2022.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 12 June 2024, at 15:35
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