Colonel (R) Jill W. Chambers
Colonel (R) Jill W. Chambers served four Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff over an eight-year period. In 2007, she was selected to serve as Special Assistant to current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, to conduct a focused study of wounded warrior issues, specifically in the areas of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Colonel (R) Chambers built a team and spent 18 months traveling the U.S. She witnessed firsthand the often heart-breaking difficulties facing returning warriors, many of whom experienced multiple deployments.
Understanding the urgency for both real-time solutions and long-term prevention strategies, Colonel (R) Chambers imagined and assembled an unprecedented strategy and team, including world renowned psychologist Martin Seligman and immediate past U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, world leading expert in Health Literacy, with the hope of increasing resiliency in Service Members before they face adversity and reducing the stigma surrounding PTS for the invisibly wounded.
Taking her Joint Staff experience related to returning warrior issues she moved to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel in November 2008 and arranged a meeting between the team she had assembled and the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. They successfully presented their unique vision as the strongest opportunity to care for the record number of men and women in all branches of service facing from TBI and PTS.
She is widely recognized as the first person in the history of the U.S. Military to develop a successful, sustainable strategy designed to reduce the crippling stigma associated with mental health challenges in a Warrior culture. Her clear vision, comprehensive experience, understanding of the issues at hand, willingness to think laterally and dogged determination laid the groundwork for the development and adoption of the first holistic approach to wellness for our Service Members. The U.S. Army subsequently developed the “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness” program that launched in 2009 and created an unprecedented number of messages via Armed Forces Radio and Television declaring and encouraging the “Permission to Speak” across all branches of Military Service.
Retiring in 2009 after 28 years of active duty, Colonel (R) Chambers “re-launched” as the Founder of This Able Vet, LLC, where she continues her commitment to real time solutions and long-term strategies working with non-pharmaceutical alternatives for PTS through the program applicably titled Applied Military Strength™.
She teams with strategic alliances of Civilian experts in the field of wellness for our Military Veterans, assisting Human Resource Teams to create and deliver relevant resources and understanding of the specific dynamics crucial in organizations, while making the most of their Military Veteran’s experience.
From 2009-2011 Jill went to Iraq six times and Afghanistan once, seeing first hand our service members in their element and enhancing her understanding of their needs as they return from deployments. She continues to focus on Integrative Medicine to treat the body, mind and spirit and supports Experience Based practices.
Jill serves on the SBA’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs and The American Legion TBI/PTS Ad Hoc Committee. Most recently, as of June 2011, she is serving as an external Advisory Board member for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. Partnering with JPMorgan Chase, this is the first institute of its kind serving as a national center in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service.
Additionally, in recognition of her rare gifts as a leader and her many groundbreaking accomplishments over 30 years of service, she was selected as the Senior Professional Women’s Association Department of Defense Woman of the Year for 2010.
In 2011 Jill was recognized at the American Legion National Convention for her service towards children and youth in connection with the TAG You’re It High School Assembly program and received their 2011 Americanism Award.
Jill was awarded the Public Spirit Award in 2012 from the American Legion Auxiliary, which is largest patriotic women’s service organization in world. The award recognizes Jill for her contributions that have positively impacted the community specifically with her work in her organization, This Able Vet, LLC.
Most recently, in November 2012 Jill was selected as a “Next Maker” by AOL and PBS honoring trailblazing women whose physical, intellectual and emotional strength have opened doors, opened minds and inspired change.
She joins a prestigious group of women such as Madeline Albright, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Barbara Walters who are the innovators, models and strategists of justice, conflict resolution, problem solving, and contagious kindness in their communities.
Jill has an amazing daughter, Captain Gwynn Miller who is currently serving as the J1 Actions OIC, US Forces Afghanistan.
Michael Peterson - Creative Communications Consultant
With nine tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and over 150 performances for deployed Service members, Michael Peterson is the recipient of the distinguished Bob Hope “Spirit Of Hope” award for his service to the nation and the servicemen and women of the Armed Forces.
He is loved for such million selling country music chart toppers as “Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie” and “From Here To Eternity”. This multiple Grammy and CMA award nominee has moved audiences all over the globe for over a decade.
Recognized by Billboard Magazine as Country music's top selling new male artist and top new airplay artist in 1997 - 1998, he burst on the scene with 5 consecutive Billboard and R & R top 20 hits between 1997 and 2001 including three top five singles and three number one music videos. His wedding standard “From Here To Eternity” was recently chosen as the #4 best loved Country music Wedding song of all time.
A proven hit songwriter with multiple #1 songs in gospel and country, both in the U.S and Europe, Michael’s songs have been recorded by Grammy winning superstars like Travis Tritt, Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles), The Classic Imperials, Ty Herndon, John Berry and Deniece “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” Williams.
In addition to his work with Veterans, Michael’s WHAT’S YOUR STORY? ™ High School Assembly program has gained national recognition as the top student experience of its kind, providing an entertaining, innovative and relevant Social-Emotional learning experience for over 200,000 Educators, School administrators and students in the past 7 years
The lasting impact of Michael’s ongoing work with students was recently reflected in his selection as the sole recipient of the American Legion’s National Education Award. The award, whose previous recipients include former First Ladies Barbara and Laura Bush, Tom Brokaw, Former US Secretary of Education William Bennett, Fred Rogers (Mr Rogers) and Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) is presented to groups or individuals that have significantly and positively enhanced public education in the United States.
In February 2012, Michael also received the prestigious PUBLIC SPIRIT AWARD from the American Legion Auxiliary. This award, established in 1983, recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations for contributions that improve their communities, especially efforts that benefit the military, veterans and their families. Previous recipients include Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.), Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Ronald Reagan, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, advice columnist Ann Landers and Miss America 2000, Heather Renee French.
Michael currently serves as National Spokesperson for the American Legion’s “American Legacy” scholarship (Ensuring a College Education for Children of Fallen Warriors) and for the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) a nationwide program through the V.A. encouraging both the Visual and Performing Arts as a pathway to expression and hopeful healing for wounded Veterans.
As of 2013, his newest CD titled “WE ARE VETERANS” is the 17th album of his career. It contains the songs most often requested by Veterans at the hundreds of concerts Michael has been privileged to present for Veterans and Military families since 2008.
For 30 years Michael Peterson has been creating music and laughter, inspiring and entertaining audiences all over the world. His expertise and commitment to “Moving People” has caused organizations as diverse Special Olympics, Selective Service, Ronald McDonald House, the USO, St Jude Children’s research hospital, the American Legion, the New Holland Corporation, the U.S. Army, the American Soybean Association, the National Bio-Diesel board and most recently the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to seek him out as a voice for messages that matter
For more information about Michael Peterson visit www.michaelpetersononline.com
For inquiries about hosting Michael for an upcoming event please e-mail Jill – MovingPeople@yahoo.com or call Jill at 703-217-5307