Tom Cotton is a sixth generation Arkansan who was born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. After attending Dardanelle high school Tom went on to graduate from Harvard and Harvard Law School.
The tragic attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred during Tom’s final year of law school, and he began to reconsider his future plans. He ultimately left law after clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals and short time in a private law practice to join the United States Army. Tom declined a commission as a JAG attorney and opted to serve as an Infantry Officer.
Tom Cotton served almost five years as an active duty Infantry Officer and completed combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq Tom served with the 101st Airborne where he led an infantry platoon in daily combat patrols. While in Afghanistan he served as the operations officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours he served as a platoon leader with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the unit responsible for military honors funerals. Tom’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab.
After leaving active duty Tom worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. He represents Arkansas’s fourth district in the United States House of Representatives.