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Mike Coffman was born on March 19, 1955 in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. In 1972, Coffman enlisted in the U.S. Army, earned a high school diploma through an Army program the following year. In 1974, he entered the University of Colorado, graduating in 1979. After his graduation from the University of Colorado, Coffman transferred from the Army Reserve to the United States Marine Corps in 1979. Mike Coffman's political career began in 1989, serving as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives until 1995. After being re-elected in 1990, Coffman took an unpaid leave-of-absence from the State House, during which he saw combat in the Persian Gulf War. In 1994, he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 20 years of combined service to the Army, Army Reserve, Marines, and Marine Reserve. Coffman currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 6th congressional district. Mike Coffman took office in 2009; formerly he served as the Secretary of State of Colorado.