LGBT Military Equality Champion & Scholar Aaron Belkin to be Honored at the AMPA West Coast Gala

LGBT Military Equality Champion & Scholar Aaron Belkin to be Honored at the AMPA West Coast Gala

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of LGBT military spouses, families, and allies, is thrilled to announce that Aaron Belkin will be honored with the AMPA Distinguished Leadership Award at the inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala on Saturday, September 17, 2016, in San Diego, CA. “Aaron Belkin is a champion of equality for LGBT service members and their families,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “Through research and persistent advocacy, he is a formidable and scholarly voice at the forefront of the fight to ensure all service members and their family members, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated fairly with dignity and respect. We are proud to honor him with our Distinguished Leadership Award at the inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala in San Diego.”” Join our nation’s LGBT service members, veterans, military spouses, and allies at the incredible event as we celebrate the five-year anniversary of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and the recent end to the military’s ban on open service by transgender people. Aaron Belkin is a scholar and advocate who has served as founding director of the Palm Center since 1999. Belkin designed and implemented much of the public education campaign that eroded popular support for military anti-LGBT discrimination, and when DADT was repealed, the president of the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund observed that, “this day never would have arrived (or it would have been a much longer wait) without the persistent, grinding work of the Palm Center.”  Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley said of Belkin that, “Probably no single person deserves more credit for the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’” Belkin summarized the keys to successful advocacy in How We Won: Progressive Lessons from...
Participate in a DoD-Funded Study of LGBT Military Behavioral Health Needs

Participate in a DoD-Funded Study of LGBT Military Behavioral Health Needs

The University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are undertaking a joint project studying the behavioral health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) active duty service members. The study is one of the first Department of Defense-funded projects of its kind. Investigators from the USC School of Social Work’s LGBT Health Equity Initiative and Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families, along with investigators from the Department of Social Welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, will join forces to conduct qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys with LGBT service members from each of the four military branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines). An expert advisory panel comprised of leaders in the military and in LGBT health will help guide this project, including AMPA Director of Research & Policy, Dr. Lori Hensic. Understanding the issues faced by LGBT service members is important because it helps the military develop programs to address the health needs among individuals in our community. In addition, understanding the needs of LGBT service members will enhance the performance of the military overall through improved unit cohesion. Participation in the study is completely voluntary, and all service members must provide verbal consent before enrolling. The study team will not gather personally identifying information, and any information they collect from service members will remain anonymous. For participating, off-duty service members will be eligible to earn gift certificates to Amazon.com.   How To Enroll Call 323-510-6277 or email sowkMAP@usc.edu    ...
The Military Community Can Stream the #Rio2016 Olympics for Free!

The Military Community Can Stream the #Rio2016 Olympics for Free!

Delivering a Landmark Event, Wherever Duty Call For over 10,500 athletes from around the world, representing 206 countries competing in 35 sports, the Summer Olympics will mark the culmination of countless hours of grueling, physical training, fueled by determination and perseverance. These are traits our military men and women know first-hand. The parallels between athletes and those who serve are unmistakable, and during the Olympics, these similarities become stronger still. Our military defenders naturally identify with their drive, both in the physical triumph over the limits of the human body, but also a bond forged by working toward a unified, national goal, one that manifests on a global stage. For those who’ve taken the oath to defend our nations, it is a respite from the reality of conflict and a reminder of the power of unity. That is why I am so pleased that, for the first time ever, United States active duty and retired service members and their families worldwide will be able to view NBC Olympics’ streaming coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics from their personal computers and devices – all 4,500 hours of coverage. This will be provided at no cost to over 7 million members of the military community by Comcast NBCUniversal, in collaborative partnership with the NBC Sports Group, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Department of Defense Agencies and U.S. cable, satellite, and telco providers. We are bringing the Olympics to our military community when and where they want it. In addition to the national pride and excitement of the Olympics, military members will also be watching some of their own, such...
Major General Trish Rose to Be Honored at Inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala

Major General Trish Rose to Be Honored at Inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala

The highest ranking openly LGBT service member in the U.S. military will honored at the spectacular event in San Diego this September celebrating the five-year anniversary of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the recent end to the transgender military ban The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, is thrilled to announce that Maj. Gen. Patricia “Trish” A. Rose, the highest ranking openly LGBT service member in the U.S. military, will be honored at the inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala on Saturday, September 17, 2016, in San Diego, CA. The incredible event will celebrate the five-year anniversary of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and the recent end to the military’s ban on open service by transgender people. “We are thrilled to welcome Major General Rose and her wife to our spectacular evening celebrating our incredible progress together as a community,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “As an out and proud lesbian, Major General Rose’s exemplary leadership has helped to break down barriers and tear down walls that stood in the way of progress. She is an inspiration to thousands of LGBT service members in every branch of our nation’s Armed Forces. We are truly looking forward to honoring her at our AMPA West Coast Gala in San Diego.” Maj. Gen. Rose serves our nation in the Air Force Reserve and is the Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. She supports the Deputy Chief of Staff in leadership, management...
HISTORIC: US Navy To Name Ship After LGBT Equality Icon Harvey Milk

HISTORIC: US Navy To Name Ship After LGBT Equality Icon Harvey Milk

Today, the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, praised the news that the U.S. Navy plans to name a ship after the LGBT equality icon and former Naval officer, Harvey Milk. According to a congressional notification signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus that was obtained by USNI News, the Navy will name a planned Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206). “Harvey Milk is an American hero and an icon for LGBT equality, and it’s phenomenal that the U.S. Navy is going to honor his legacy by naming a ship after him,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “Harvey Milk’s incredible leadership in the face of adversity continues to inspire all of us in our ongoing fight for full LGBT equality. By breaking down barriers and fighting for the dignity and worth of all Americans, he left behind an example for all of us in his service to our nation, both in and out of uniform.” As reported by USNI News, “Milk came from a Navy family and commissioned in the service in 1951. He served has a diving officer in San Diego during the Korean War on the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake as a diving officer until 1955. Milk was honorably discharged from the service as a lieutenant junior grade. Following his service, Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors and was the first openly gay California politician to be elected to office. He was killed in office in 1978. When Milk was shot he was wearing his U.S. Navy Master Diver belt buckle.”  ...
HISTORIC: Secretary Carter Announces End To Transgender Military Service Ban

HISTORIC: Secretary Carter Announces End To Transgender Military Service Ban

Today at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a much anticipated end to the ban on open service by transgender service members. The announcement comes more than a year after Secretary Carter promised that the Department of Defense (DoD) would update the outdated regulations which prevent open service by transgender service members and the launch of a working group to assess the impact of the change and work out the details. “Words cannot express how much this announcement means to so many of our transgender service members and their families — brave men and women who have proudly served our nation in silence for far too long,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “We are incredibly grateful to Secretary Carter for bringing this promise to fruition. While we still have progress to make, today is truly historic and our military families will be stronger as a result of these critically important and long overdue changes.” “This historic change means that I can finally serve openly and proudly as who I am — a soldier who loves my country and just happens to be transgender,” said AMPA member Nick Melvin, who is currently stationed in Hawaii. “A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulder. I can continue serving my nation and support my family, which means the world!” With the announcement today, Secretary Carter said, “This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force. We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve. We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications prevent us from recruiting and retaining...