Early Days in Congress

Vinson's Appointment to the Naval Affairs Committee

"...could see the results of my labor."

“I wanted to serve on a committee where I could see the results of my labors. When you authorize the construction of a military base or a big carrier you can see the results.”

Editor's Note: Carl Vinson spent much of his first term in Congress learning the ropes of his new position and preparing for reelection. However, at the end of his first term, Vinson faced no opposition for his seat and in 1917 began his second term in office. When the Sixty-Fifth congressional session convened, several powerful House committees had vacancies. Although Vinson represented a landlocked district, he had a personal interest in defense policy and so chose an open seat on the Naval Affairs Committee.

This decision built upon the work he completed in his first term advocating for military preparedness and gave him the opportunity to push for more significant legislation to achieve these goals. Through his committee work, Vinson became a vocal advocate for the maintenance of a strong U.S. Navy and later, a U.S. Air Force.

Looking back on his life and career, Vinson spoke to reporter Louis R. Stockstill about his decision to join the Naval Affairs Committee. Quite simply, Vinson wished to see the tangible results of his work and efforts. The Naval Affairs Committee allowed him to have a concrete impact on national security, one that would last long after his time in Congress.