Veterans and alumni of national service programs explore the idea of running for office as part of an Answering the Call course in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Take this class if you want to run for office

Updated 1456 GMT (2256 HKT) July 8, 2019

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(CNN)In the tempestuous weeks leading up to the 2016 election, Dan Moy hunkered down in a seminar room on the Harvard campus with more than a dozen others -- Republicans, Democrats and independents -- to discuss what it might be like to run for office.

Moy had enrolled in a master's program at the university's John F. Kennedy School of Government. But one of the most important parts for him, a weekly course called Answering the Call, wasn't part of the official curriculum.
The conversations in that room were changing lives. And they might just change our politics.
Everyone gathered around the table had served in some capacity, whether it was in the military, the Peace Corps or the nonprofit sector. Each had an itch to run for office, and this was a safe space to "talk and share back and forth what we were thinking about our futures," Moy said.
Moy, a retired Air Force colonel, had served in the Gulf War, taught at the Air Force Academy after September 11, earned a Ph.D. in history and commanded counterinsurgency forces in Afghanistan.
But running for office was always at the back of his mind, and he felt that he had skills to offer. After he retired from active duty, he wanted to find ways to apply that skill set to keep improving the world.
    The 54-year-old said he feels discouraged at what he sees as politicians' inability to solve the country's "mounting problems."
    Veterans like Moy bring experience leading diverse teams to accomplish missions in adverse conditions.

    Graduates are taking office across the country

    Those interested in the program can be nominated by friends or colleagues for the course online. If selected, they can join courses each year in dozens of cities.
    At each session, they move through exercises in a workbook. Moy and his classmates had to mull over a number of penetrating questions such as "What core values are at the heart of my commitment to service?" They also draft personal mission statements and write alternative visions for their lives if t