MARINE CORPS INTEGRATES MALE AND FEMALE PLATOONS DURING BOOT CAMP FOR THE FIRST TIME
For the first time in its history, the Marine Corps will integrate male and female trainees at the company level at their Recruit Depot Parris Island training, as Elizabeth McLaughlin reports for ABC News. For years advocates have pushed for integration of training to level the playing field between men and women from the very beginning of their careers. The Marine Corps has struggled with a series of scandals surrounding the treatment of women Marines from the horrible Marines United revenge porn debacle to sexism directed at them online and in the fleet. The Army integrated its training decades ago and while they have suffered their own challenges, it is widely believed that early integration has reduced much of the divide in the ranks. This isn’t a full integration and the Marines insist it’s actually only a temporary necessity due to a low number of trainees in the current cycle so maintaining multiple units and facilities wasn’t logical. Importantly, the Marines will not be truly training together as the platoons do not work together during the cycle but will gather for large events and formations. However, progress is progress and it comes at a time of growing frustration with the existing system and lack of real progress on the issues. Let’s hope this is a beginning of changing cultural norms that allow women to serve without constant questioning of their worth to the service. — Fred Wellman, CEO and Founder of ScoutComms
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN HARMS FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING VETERANS
As the government shutdown, also known as Operation Shoot Yourself In the Foot, continues, news organizations likes Stars & Stripes and ABC News are reporting on the fact that veterans—who are disproportionately represented in the federal workforce—are being negatively impacted when they don’t receive paychecks. This is true. Veterans make up nearly a third of the federal workforce, and while some are still receiving their paychecks due to their agencies being fully funded for the year, many more have been sent home or are working without pay. This is ridiculous and counterproductive. But veterans are not unique this time. No federal employee, whether a veteran or civilian, should see their paycheck disappear because they are a convenient pawn in the political fight. Veterans are not more deserving of guaranteed paychecks, so lets focus on the fact that no one impacted by the shutdown deserves to suffer, and that we should care deeply about the stress this situation places on all families who are wondering where they are going to get money for rent or food. And no, well-meaning people at the Coast Guard Support Program, a garage sale is not a good idea. — Brian Wagner, COO of ScoutComms
VETERANS GROUPS COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER AS WELL AS THE VA
By Jennifer Steinhauer for The New York Times
Nearly a generation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the oldest and largest veterans’ service organizations — known colloquially as “the Big Six” — are seeing their influence diluted, as newer, smaller organizations focused on post-9/11 veterans compete for money, political influence and relevance.
HOUSE LAWMAKERS LAUNCH NEW EFFORT TO PASS BLUE WATER NAVY BILL
By Nikki Wentling/Stars & Stripes
Just days into the new congressional session, some House lawmakers are trying again to secure benefits for thousands of veterans who served on ships off the coast during the Vietnam War – an effort that failed by the time the 115th Congress ended last month.
OJEDA TO RESIGN FROM WEST VIRGINIA SENATE, WILL FOCUS ON 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RUN
By Dave Mistich/West Virginia Public Broadcasting
The Army veteran is in his first term in public office, having won his seat in the West Virginia Legislature in 2016.
VETERANS WELCOME? LESS THAN 2 PERCENT OF CAPITOL HILL STAFFERS HAVE MILITARY EXPERIENCE
By Leo Shane/Military Times
Fewer than 2 percent of congressional staffers have served in the military, despite years of warning from advocates about the need to include veterans’ perspective in policy work and pledges from lawmakers to help separating service members find work.
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: SVA
STUDENT VETS CEO CALLS ON VETERANS TO FILL AMERICA’S ‘LEADERSHIP DEFICIT’
By Nikki Wentling/Stars & Stripes
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jared Lyon, a Navy veteran and CEO of Student Veterans of America, addressed a crowd of about 2,300 people at the group’s national convention in Orlando, Fla.
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: GIVE AN HOUR
VAN NUYS RUN BENEFITS MENTAL HEALTH CAUSES
Participants in the “5K for the Five Signs” included Talinda Bennington, the widow of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the alt-rock band Linkin Park who committed suicide in 2017, and DJ Nash, the creator of the ABC drama “A Million Little Things.”
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vet Tix
KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR BY ATTENDING FREE FAMILY-THEMED EVENTS FOR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Task & Purpose
Now that the holidays are over and 2019 has kicked off, January is a great time to start the New Year off by spending quality time with your family and friends. An easy and inexpensive way to accomplish that is by taking them to some of the many family themed that Vet Tix has tickets available for throughout the country.
LGBT Veterans Career Workshop
Lone Star Veterans Association
Foreign policy discussion with Rep. Abigail Spanberger
Busboys and Poets
Campaign to Change Direction
Los Angeles, CA