As a West Point graduate, I was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. After four incredibly intense years of school and training, I was eager to get to my first unit and begin my career as an Army officer.

However, the Army required just a bit more training before I was honored with the privilege of leading America’s sons and daughters who had selflessly signed up to serve our country. So, I headed off to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., where for the next six months, I would learn the ins and outs of my branch, such as mobility, counter-mobility, demolitions, minefield clearing, and everything else I might need to execute on the battlefield.

That’s when a crusty old warrant officer walked into our classroom, tossed aside the massive stack of lesson plans, and in his gravelly voice said, “We’ll get to this s&*! in a minute.” First, he told a story that has stuck with me ever since, recalling when, as a young soldier himself, he and others in his unit were ordered to paint lines in a freshly paved parking lot.

When they arrived there, someone accidentally kicked over a 5-gallon bucket of paint and made a terrible mess. The group frantically tried to clean it up, but the paint just kept creeping through the cracks of the asphalt, expanding wider and wider. Finally, they organized the mess into a big, neat, white circle and then rolled back to the barracks to face the wrath of the drill sergeant. But to their surprise, no one came to inspect or care that the job never got done, much less that there was a giant white circle in the parking lot.

Decades later, the warrant officer would return to his old barracks and pull up to that same parking lot where, as chance would have it, there was a group of young officers with buckets of white paint. Only they weren’t there to repaint lines. They were repainting the giant white circle that had appeared by accident so many years before.

The story crystalized for us an important lesson: Just because it seems like it’s always been that way is not a reason to keep doing it. It’s important to ask questions, be a skeptic, and if something doesn’t make sense or isn’t working, then make a change.

The sad fact is we have people painting giant white circles every day all throughout our federal government, and especially in politics. Whether it is bureaucrats preoccupied with pointless exercises that waste time and money or cynical politicians on both sides who see electoral advantage in fighting the same battles over and over instead of solving the problem, Americans are watching with growing frustration.

On issue after issue, from our broken border to deficit spending to over-regulation, we keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Yes, it’s insanity.

After completing my training, I was deployed to dangerous theaters around the world where sitting around painting the proverbial white circles would have meant mission failure or worse. We knew our objective, and we executed it. When we encountered a problem, we solved it. That’s simply the way business was done, and any amount of wasted time or energy could mean returning home in a body bag.

When I retired from the Army as a captain, I returned to school to complete my education, earning a master’s degree from MIT and a master’s in public policy. From there, I built a business applying many of the principles and values I learned in the military: discipline, teamwork, respect, resilience, and, most of all, problem-solving. It hasn’t been easy, but last year, I was proud that my business was recognized as the fastest-growing private company in New Hampshire. We didn’t get there by painting white circles.

Now, I want to represent New Hampshire in Congress – not to be someone, but to do something. Our current representative, Chris Pappas, is a nice enough guy. But he’s a professional white circle painter, a political lifer who is happy enough to go along and get along. He votes the way he is told – 100 percent of the time with Joe Biden – and hopes no one will notice or care that the job he was sent to do hasn’t been done.

I’m betting voters do care and are ready for a change. We need a representative who will fight against the institutional stagnation that infects Washington, D.C., and will work tirelessly to solve the challenges that are holding our people and our country back. That’s what I’ve done in the military and business, and it’s what I will do if I’m given the privilege to serve again.