Brenda Sue Fulton, a former Army officer who fought to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” and served as president of SPART*A, an LGBTQ military advocacy group, was nominated for Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense. Shawn Skelly, a former Naval flight officer who co-founded the group, Out in National Security, and was a former Pentagon special assistant, was nominated for Assistant Secretary for Readiness, Department of Defense. If confirmed by the Senate, Skelly would become the highest-ranking openly transgender defense official, reflecting the new administration’s prioritization of diversity in its ranks.
“Fulton and Skelly are eminently qualified, and have demonstrated extraordinary patriotism through their tireless service to their country and their advocacy for inclusion,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center. “The Palm Center congratulates them both for this well-earned honor. Our military is stronger as a result of their efforts, and our nation is better off.”