Military Servicemembers and Veterans
Military Servicemembers and Veterans
Our brave servicemembers and veterans deserve the very best from Congress, our government, and the American people. These individuals and their families put their lives on the line for our country, make constant personal and professional sacrifices to fulfill military requirements, and endure working conditions that are often dangerous. As the Chair of the Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, Congresswoman Speier has championed servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Congresswoman Speier has advanced numerous initiatives to ensure the military finds and keeps the most qualified individuals, provides their families with needed assistance finding employment and child care, and adequately compensates those harmed in the line of duty.
During the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Speier pursued a holistic approach to supporting our servicemembers and veterans that she will carry into the 117th Congress. Under her leadership, the Military Personnel Subcommittee emphasizes that “Together, We Serve,” recognizing the sacrifices entire families make in their service to our country.
Congresswoman Speier has held numerous hearings on timely military personnel topics, such as examining how to revitalize the military’s personnel policy by asking servicemembers and their families what they need and replacing one-size-fits-all solutions with innovative approaches that optimize scarce resources. She understands that a force capable of fighting and winning 21st Century conflicts cannot run on outdated policies.
During the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Speier secured passage of landmark legislation as part of the annual defense policy bill, including:
- Establishment of a claims process to compensate servicemembers for medical errors at military medical treatment facilities (outside of conflict zones);
- Enhancement of the Exceptional Family Member Program to provide military families with children with special needs additional resources, such as attorneys who specialize in education law to ensure their children’s educational needs are met;
- Expansion of access to child care, including 24-hour child care for servicemembers who work late hours and authorizing fee assistance for in-home child care;
- Gender integration of Marine Corps basic training, which is the last of the services to continue to train women and men separately; and
- Enactment of several provisions to improve diversity and inclusion in the military, including establishing a Deputy Inspector General for Diversity and Inclusion, requiring the military services to set goals and establish plans to increase representation of women and people of color among the force, removing personally identifiable information like names and photographs from promotion boards, and directing the military services to track white supremacy and violent extremism among servicemembers.
Building on these achievements, Congresswoman Speier continues to advocate for measures to ensure that military families have the same access to contraception without out-of-pocket costs as other Americans with health insurance, to stop pregnancy discrimination in the armed forces, to strengthen the effectiveness of military protective orders for victims of intimate-partner violence, to appropriately vet recruits and servicemembers for ties to white-supremacist and other violent-extremist groups, and to establish a standalone offense of violent extremism under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Congresswoman Speier believes that our dedication to our servicemembers must extend beyond their service on active duty. She supports efforts to ensure continued high-quality care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, help veterans access care when the VA cannot provide it, and protect the labor rights of VA workers. Congresswoman Speier has participated in numerous efforts to make sure the VA system provides appropriate care for veterans with non-typical injuries and conditions, such as survivors of military sexual trauma. From ardent oversight of proper medical care at VA hospitals and clinics to protecting the benefits earned during a veteran’s military career, the Congresswoman remains committed to our veterans.
If you are a servicemember or veteran whistleblower of misconduct or you believe your organization has retaliated against you, please contact our office. No organization is above oversight. If you are able to come forward, our office can help to ensure your rights as a whistleblower are protected.
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