OutServe-SLDN Announces Re-Launch of Military & Veterans Advisory Council
November 12, 2018
(WASHINGTON) November 12, 2018 — Today, OutServe-SLDN is proud to announce the re-launch of its Military & Veterans Advisory Council (MAC). This Council is made up of twenty servicemembers, partners, and veterans, representing each branch of our nation’s military services and diverse, intersectional identities. The uniquely talented group of individuals will be charged with advising OutServe-SLDN’s staff and Board of Directors on subjects pertaining to military service, veterans issues, and organizational programming. A full list of the Council members can be found below.
“I believe in the collective power of a united community of LGBTQ service members, veterans, and their families,” said Lindsay Church, Co-Chair of OutServe-SLDN’s Military & Veterans Advisory Council. “Now is the time for us all to work together, to build one another up, so that we may be heard and not erased. I am confident that OutServe-SLDN can lead the way in these efforts.”
“The re-introduction of this Council signals OutServe-SLDN’s trajectory of supporting and representing all members of the LGBTQ and HIV+ military and veteran communities,” said Steven Proctor, Co-Chair of OutServe-SLDN’s Military & Veterans Advisory Council. “I am excited about the opportunity to ensure the perspectives and concerns of our membership are brought to the table as we continue to develop and deploy programming and advocacy initiatives for our members.”
“Each member of the incoming Advisory Council brings a set of skills and perspectives that I wanted to ensure were highlighted in OutServe-SLDN’s programming and initiatives moving forward,” said Andy Blevins, OutServe-SLDN Executive Director. “I am humbled by the overwhelming interest and support we received when pulling this team together over the last several weeks and I look forward to the incredible work that we will accomplish together.”
OutServe-SLDN’s robust chapter network was originally developed when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” still barred open and authentic military service by the LGBTQ community. The chapters still exist as an opportunity for networking and local events which focus on the professional and personal development of the chapters’ membership. OutServe-SLDN’s 81 chapters and forums throughout the world are led by a volunteer quorum of dedicated service members and veterans. In an effort to ensure their voices and ideas are heard on the Military & Veterans Advisory Council, the Quorum’s Chairs have also been invited to serve on the Advisory Council.
“I believe in the future of the LGBTQ community and in continuing the work of those that came before us,” said Ashley Carothers, Chair of OutServe-SLDN’s Chapter Leaders Quorum. “It is vital that we focus our work on continuing to pursue equitable treatment for all and stand alongside our transgender and HIV+ siblings, who need our continued support and commitment now more than ever.”
“I am excited to be joining the organization in this new capacity because it gives me the chance to give back to a community that has supported me for the last six years,” said Matthew Hardwig, Vice Chair of OutServe-SLDN’s Chapter Leaders Quorum. “OutServe-SLDN remains on the frontlines as we battle for equitable resources and support for our LGBTQ and HIV+ service members, veterans, and their families. I look forward to assisting this incredible team as we work towards these targets.”
OutServe-SLDN’s Military & Veteran Advisory Council have already met as a team to discuss the programming and strategic initiatives they would like to push over the coming year. Developments about their plans and strategic pushes will continue to be pushed out over the coming weeks.
Lindsay Church, Co-Chair, Navy veteran Steven Proctor, Co-Chair, actively-serving in the Army Ashley Carothers, Chapter Leaders Quorum Chair, Air Force veteran and Army spouse Matthew Hardwig, Chapter Leaders Quorum Vice Chair, actively-serving in the Air Force Sarah Alder, Army veteran Amanda Brewer, military spouse and parent of LGBTQ kid Ashley Broadway-Mack, Army spouse Todd Burton, Army veteran Charlotte Clymer, Army veteran Jennifer Dane, Air Force veteran Blake Dremann, actively-serving in the Navy John Fiorentine, Coast Guard veteran Jessica Girven, Air Force spouse and parent of LGBTQ kid Nick Harrison, actively-serving in the Army Andres Hernandez, Army veteran Laila Ireland, Army veteran and Air Force spouse Kody Parsons, actively-serving in the Air Force Gene Silvesti, Army veteran EJ Smith, Marine Corps partner Meg Yamoto, Navy spouse
OutServe-SLDN (OS-SLDN) is the largest non-profit, legal services, advocacy and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America’s military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. With more than fifty chapters and 60,000 subscribers around the world, OS-SLDN supports a professional network of LGBT military personnel and strives to create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.