Ford briefly practiced law in 1941 to 1942 before joining the navy to fight in World War II. In 1943, he was sent to sea on the USS Monterey in the South Pacific where he took part in the recapture of the Philippines. He left the navy as a lieutenant commander in 1946. After the war he went back to practicing law. In 1949, Ford became a U.S. representative and was chosen to be a member of the Warren Commission to determine the facts behind Kennedy's assassination. He was reelected twelve times until 1973 when he became the vice president under Richard Nixon.