Veterans often need to submit their discharge paperwork when applying for jobs in the civilian world. When the narrative reason for separation is “Homosexual” or a variation on that, the former service member is compelled to be immediately “out” to perspective employers and anyone else who sees the document. When there is a negative re-entry code, employers may conclude the former service member had engaged in misconduct while in the armed service. OutServe-SLDN remains committed to providing quality legal services and assistance to LGB veterans affected by DADT or the prior policy. Service members who were discharged because of DADT or the prior policies regarding gays and lesbians in the armed forces might want to have certain changes made in the discharge paperwork. The discharge characterization for those discharged under DADT or the prior policy should accurately reflect the character of their service. This is not always the case.
Legal Help Desk
OutServe-SLDN provides free legal counseling to service members with legal issues stemming from discrimination based on one’s perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender presentation, the regulations governing military service by HIV+ people, the regulations addressing military service by transgender persons, and offers assistance to veterans seeking to upgrade or correct their discharge paperwork.
OutServe Knowledge Online (OSKO)
OutServe Knowledge Online (OSKO) is an online education program that brings critical information to our members – LGBTQ service members, veterans, Department of Defense Civilians, and their families – by creating an online repository of information and resources specific to the LGBTQ military and veteran communities. OSKO hosts a monthly podcast and a resource library, and has featured prominent speakers, including: Directors of the Veteran Affairs LGBT Health Program, President of SPART*A, Program Manager at Make the Connection, and more.
Advancing Care through Education (ACE)
OutServe-SLDN has a portfolio of educational workshops and trainings tailored to serve and advocate for the LGBTQ military and veteran communities. We offer trainings to a variety of organizations within and outside the military and veteran communities, including: non-profits, social service and health care providers, government agencies, universities, and community groups. Our trainings cover topics from the basics of what it means to be an LGBTQ service member or veteran, trauma informed care practices, client-provider interaction best practices, and more.
Rainbow Shield bridges the gap in culturally competent services for the LGBTQ veteran community by providing VSO services and educating veteran service providers and advocates through our online certification program. Veterans seeking veteran services can work directly with a Veteran Service Officer at OutServe-SLDN, or search our online directory for a Rainbow Shield-certified VSO in your area. Certified service providers and advocates are featured in our national directory, have the option of placing the Rainbow Shield graphic in their office or online, and have access to the most up-to-date information on LGBTQ veterans’ issues and events through our Rainbow Shield newsletters.
OutServe-SLDN’s Chapter network is comprised of nearly 80 membership groups across the world that serve LGBTQ service members, veterans, Department of Defense civilians, and their families. Chapters are more than just meeting groups; they provide social support, resources, leadership development opportunities, and connect members directly to the groundbreaking programs OutServe-SLDN has developed for them. With founding and former chapter leaders on the Staff team and Board of Directors, the chapter network is a unique program that is by and for the LGBTQ military and veteran communities.
Strive Health (Strive) and Veteran & First Responder Healthcare (VFR) Partnership
OutServe-SLDN and Strive and VFR have a partnership to provide cost-effective, outpatient addiction and mental health services, improving the lives of individuals and families surviving with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. As part of this joint endeavor, Strive Health & VFR will provide clinical services to referrals from OutServe-SLDN on an outpatient basis for service members, veterans and their families; ensuring that those seeking services are able to see a provider within 24-hours of contact. OutServe-SLDN will establish a referral system and access point for individuals seeking services while providing ongoing cultural competency training for all of Strive’s staff, highlighting specific areas of concern and trends affecting the LGBTQ military and veteran communities.