OutServe Hosts First Armed Forces Leadership Summit

| September 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

On October 13, 2011, OutServe, the largest network of actively serving LGBT military personnel, will be kicking off its first annual Armed Forces Leadership Summit at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. Over the course of the weekend, hundreds of active duty service members, veterans, civilians, and allies, will join together to engage, educate, and work towards a brighter future for the military and the LGBT community.

With renowned organizations and honorary guest speakers, the Armed Forces Leadership Summit will provide the LGBT military community a means of building professional networks, sharing best practices and formulating strategies that help build a stronger military community. The Summit will feature respected and well-known authorities presenting on a range of topics, intriguing and groundbreaking panels, and interactive workshops that address diversity as a strength. Among the many topics to be featured: how allied military forces have built a diverse military community; post-service employment opportunities for LGBT personnel; legislative battles ahead; and resources for LGBT military families and partners. The Summit will also include strategic group breakouts for partners, transgender service members, service academies, women and others.

“We believe diversity is a force multiplier, and this conference will bring together veterans, active-duty military, and other experts to help us leverage LGBT inclusion for the benefit of military readiness,” says Josh Seefried, OutServe’s active-duty co-director. “Building an environment of mutual respect is ingrained in our military values, and as active-duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who happen to be gay, that’s what we are working toward.”

“As Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have shown us through their ‘Joining Forces’ project, supporting military families is supporting the military,” added Seefried. “Providing resources to LGBT military partners and families is a priority for us since the military is currently prohibited from giving any spousal benefits to them.”

Well-renowned organizations and businesses are moving quickly at the opportunity to support this year’s Armed Forces Leadership Summit. The Central Intelligence Agency, Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and Out & Equal are just a few among a growing list of supporters. As evidenced by this dynamic and diverse group of sponsors, the Summit is bound to generate a fascinating dialogue.

As we move to a post-DADT climate, it’s imperative that we organize as a community and strategize how to build a more equitable, diverse, and safe military. OutServe is ecstatic to lead this discussion and pave the way for a brighter future in our military community.
– Andrew Jenkins

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