President Biden is set to nominate members of the LGBTQ community with a background in LGBTQ rights for high-ranking civilian positions at the Defense Department, the White House announced on Friday.
Brenda Sue Fulton, a lesbian activist who fought for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and transgender military service, is set to obtain the nomination as assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, which would make her an adviser for U.S. military personnel affairs.
Shawn Skelly, a transgender national security expert who served on Biden’s transition team after the inauguration is on the other hand set to obtain the nomination of assistant secretary of defense for readiness, which overseas U.S. military force and health affairs.
Skelly, who served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a Naval Flight Officer, is also co-founder of Out in National Security, an affinity group for LGBTQ national security experts and officials,
Luke Scheusener, a fellow co-founder of Out in National Security, hailed the news of Skelly’s nomination in a statement.
“Shawn is first and foremost a public servant,” Scheusener said. “She has dedicated her life to serving the United States in and out of uniform. That extends to her decision to co-found and President of ONS. She has been a stalwart advocate for our community and for LGBTQIA+ national security professionals.”