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Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations

The mission of the Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations (the JLC) is to provide advice and assistance to the Governor, General Assembly and the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) on matters of concern to the veterans community and provides a conduit of information to and from the veterans service organizations on policy and legislation, pending and enacted, as well as information on existing services.

Membership on the Joint Leadership Council is open to qualifying veterans service organizations in Virginia. VSOs representatives are nominated by their organization and appointed by the Governor. Each member VSO is allotted one representative and one alternate. All veterans organizations are encouraged to join this initiative to support Virginia’s veterans and their families, by contacting the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

All meetings begin at 10:00 a.m., and are open to the public.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Wednesday, April 29:  CANCELLED
  • Wednesday, July 22, American Legion Building, Dept. of Virginia HQ, 1708 Commonwealth Ave., Richmond
  • Wednesday, October 21, location TBD
  • Wednesday, December 16*, Virginia War Memorial, 621 S. Belvidere St., Richmond – This will be a joint meeting with the Board of Veterans Services (BVS)

For more information, please contact:

  • Steven Combs, DVS Chief Deputy Commissioner                                                                                   804-786-0294   or
  • Frank G. Wickersham, III, JLC Chairman                                                                                              540-270-5256    or


Veterans Service Organization JLC Representative Alternate

Air Force Association

Thomas Wozniak

James Merchant

American Legion

Richard Oertel

Dale Chapman


John Cooper

Rich Mansfield

Association of the U.S. Army

Michael Flanagan

Robert Sempek

Disabled American Veterans

Denice Williams

Thomas Wendel

Fifth Baptist Church Veterans Ministry

John Manning

Thad Jones

Fleet Reserve Association

William Ashton

Jeffrey Gilmartin

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Lauren Augustine

Korean War Veterans Association

Tim Whitmore

Legion of Valor of the U.S., Inc.

Robert Herbert

Rich Rinaldo

Marine Corps League

Jim Barrett

Bruce Steeley

Military Order of the Purple Heart

James Cuthbertson

Mark Atchison

Military Order of the World Wars

Vernon Peters

Hans Mumm

Military Officers Association of America

Frank Wickersham, III

Monti Zimmerman

Navy Mutual Aid Association

Craig Cressman

Meredith Burns

Navy Seabee Veterans of America

Mike Boyle

Non-Commissioned Officers Association

Jon Ostrowski

Tyrone Anderson

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Preston Curry

Raymond Kenney

Reserve Officers Association

David Sitler

Terrence Moore

Roanoke Valley Veterans Council

Perry Taylor

Dan Karnes

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Dan Boyer

Tom Gimble

Vietnam Veterans of America

Charles Montgomery

George Corbett

Virginia Army/Air National Guard Enlisted Associated

Robert Barnette

Carl Holcomb

Virginia National Guard Association

Kevin Hoffman

Fallon Martin

Women Marines Association

Judy Reid

Marie Juliano

Chairman of the Board of Veterans Services

Michael Dick

Chairman of the Veterans Services Foundation

Frank Finelli

Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

John Maxwell

2020 JLC INITIATIVES & Letters to the Governor in Support of Issues

  • Summary Matrix of 2020 JLC Policy Initiatives

    On October 16, the JLC adopted six initiatives for consideration by the Governor and General Assembly for the 2020 session. Position papers for each initiative may be found below. Additionally, the JLC voted to show support of four issues with Letters of Support. Those letters will be posted after being conveyed to the Governor.

    Previous year’s initiatives are available upon request.


  • JLC 2020-01 2nd Resolution - Personal Property Tax Exemption

    RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly approve legislation, and send to the voters via ballot initiative, creating a standardized, statewide personal property tax exemption for one vehicle for 100% service-connected, total and permanent disabled veterans.

  • JLC 2020-02 Counting Military Absentee Ballots After Election Day

    RECOMMENDATION: That the General Assembly enact and the Governor sign legislation that directs Virginia registrars receive and count military overseas absentee ballots postmarked on or before election day and which arrive by 5:00 p.m. on the second business day before the State Board of Elections meets to certify the results of the election.

  • JLC 2020-03 Income Tax Subtraction for Certain Low-Income 100% Disabled Veterans

    RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly approve an individual income tax subtraction for 100% service-connected disabled veterans with a federally adjusted gross income, not exceeding 150% of the federal poverty level for a four-person household, who have not already claimed another exemption.

  • JLC 2020-04 Virginia National Guard Emergency Response Pay

    RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly appropriate budget and legislative support to ensure that all Virginia National Guardsmen are paid at least at the E6 rate when they are called to SAD in emergency situations.

  • JLC 2020-05 Tax Credits for Employers Who Hire Virginia National Guardsmen and Reserves

    RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly approve Tax credits for employers of National Guard members and self-employed National Guard members.

  • JLC 2020-06 Microloans for Veterans Program

    RECOMMENDATION: That the Governor and General Assembly provide an appropriation in the amount of $1,000,000 in FY20 and $1,000,000 in FY21 for the Microloan for Veterans Program fund.

  • Funding for new Care Centers in biennial budget

    The JLC fully supports providing the funding necessary to open and operate our two new veterans care centers – the Puller Veterans Care Center and the Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center – and requested the Governor include it in his introduced biennial budget for FY21-22. The JLC has always, and will continue to, support our commonwealth-run veterans care centers.

  • Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among SVMF
    The JLC hopes that focus on this important issue in Virginia will lead to potential cutting-edge solutions and policies. We stand ready to assist the Governor and the members of this Challenge in any way needed. As a starting place, at our April 17 meeting, we voted unanimously on the following:

    1.      Make a commitment to pass out the cards from the Governor’s challenge;

    2.      Put the information about the Governor’s Challenge and presentation on suicide prevention in VSO newsletters; and

    3.      Send a formal letter through the Chairman to the Governor supporting the Challenge and committing to support its’ efforts.

  • Commonwealth Connect - Universal Broadband Access for Virginians

    The JLC supports the Governor’s efforts to fund VATI with $50M in funding to help Virginia’s progress towards universal broadband access. Several member VSOs have signed on as Commonwealth Connect Coalition partners.

  • Virginia National Guard Scholarship

    The JLC supports the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs efforts for a Virginia National Guard Scholarship program to fully cover Guardsmen seeking a degree or certification in Virginia to bring Virginia in line with other states’ National Guard benefits.

JLC Conference at the General Assembly

  • Minutes January 12, 2017
  • The JLC no longer conducts a Conference, as they did prior to 2017. The JLC now conducts an advocacy day to the General Assembly as other groups do, and all veterans associated with any member VSO are welcome to attend. Conference Minutes for prior years are available on request.