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Wade Zirkle

Principal

Wade Zirkle is a founding principal of StrongPoint Holdings. Wade’s background includes broad experience in the financial, political, and military arenas.

Prior to founding StrongPoint Holdings, Wade worked in Manhattan for Lehman Brothers Asset Management. At Lehman Brothers, he worked in the institutional sales and client service group, where he advised various institutional clients on financial management and pension fund planning. Wade was on Wall Street during the historic 2008 financial collapse, where he witnessed first-hand what works – and what doesn’t work – in global finance.

Previously, Wade was the founder and first executive director of Vets for Freedom, which today is America’s largest Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans political action organization. At Vets for Freedom, Wade managed day-to-day operations, including strategic communications, fundraising, marketing, and internet operations, in addition to running national television advertising campaigns for pro-mission congressional candidates. To date, Vets for Freedom has raised and spent over $11 Million in support of federal candidates who have shown unwavering resolve for U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, Wade was an early and leading voice in the veterans’ community that called for a massive troop increase in Iraq. In 2007, when the U.S. military initiated its “surge” strategy in Iraq, Wade was invited to the White House three times, along with a panel of Iraq experts, to discuss counterinsurgency strategy with President Bush and senior military officials.

After graduating from college in 2000, Wade served for five years as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as a Light Armored Vehicle Platoon Commander in the historic U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. In 2004, he returned to Iraq as a Rifle Platoon Commander in the First Battle for Fallujah. Wade has been personally decorated twice for valor and is also a recipient of the Purple Heart. After the invasion, Wade’s unit, the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, was awarded the prestigious Presidential Unit Citation for “Gallantry and determination under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions.”

Since his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Wade has returned to the front lines twice as a civilian combat correspondent. In 2006 he was embedded with U.S. and Iraqi troops in Ramadi, Iraq, where he wrote for The Weekly Standard and The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2009 he wrote for Fox News while he was embedded with U.S. troops and Afghan Commandos on the Pakistani-Afghani border. Wade’s editorials have been published in numerous national publications, including The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared regularly on cable and network news to discuss U.S. military and foreign policy.

Wade holds a B.A. in political science from the University of South Carolina, and an M.B.A from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business. He lives in Mount Jackson, Virginia, with his wife, Mary.   He is an avid traveler, cyclist and skier.

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