Thomas Bryant Cotton is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator for Arkansas since January 3, 2015. He is a Republican.Cotton was born and raised in Dardanelle, Arkansas. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, Cotton later returned to Harvard Law School and graduated in 2002. After law school, he worked for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 2005, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. Cotton's military background includes service in Afghanistan and deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom; he is a Bronze Star recipient.Cotton served in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2015. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate at age 37 in 2014, defeating two-term Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. Cotton is currently the youngest Member of the U.S.