Daniel Barkhuff, the president and treasurer of Veterans for Responsible Leadership, was born in Maine and lived his childhood in New England. He attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in May 2001. He served 7 years on active duty as a member of Naval Special Warfare and completed multiple combat tours.

Upon leaving active duty he attended Harvard Medical School and then completed an Emergency Medicine Residency training program at the University of New Mexico. He is now a faculty member and Emergency Medicine doctor at the University of Vermont, and the father of three small girls.