Pete Buttigieg served in Afghanistan as part of the US Navy (Picture: Facebook).
An Afghanistan war veteran has launched his bid for the US Democratic Presidential nomination.
Pete Buttigieg has been the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012.
During his mayoral term, he took a seven-month leave and served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve in Afghanistan.
For his counterterrorism work, he earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
He is also the first openly gay Democratic candidate for US president.
In his role as Mayor, he has been credited with turning around the industrial town's struggling economy.
He announced his bid at an afternoon rally in South Bend, describing himself as a voice for the millennial generation:
"I come from that generation that grew up with school shootings as the norm, the generation that produced the bulk of the troops in the post-9/11 conflicts, the generation that is going to be on the business end of climate change for as long as we live,"
He added: "It is time to walk away from the politics of the past and toward something totally different."
There are 18 Democrats who have put their names into the race to become the Democrats Presidential candidate.
The candidate will be chosen at the beginning of 2020 after a series of contests, before taking on Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 general election.