FIGHTING FOR FAMILIES: As Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, Robert Wilkie has fought for military families and veterans.
- Under Wilkie’s leadership as Acting Secretary, the VA worked with Congress and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to pass the VA MISSION Act, making it easier for our veterans to obtain care and opening up the VA Caregiver Program to pre-9/11 veterans.
- Wilkie is also the first leader of the VA to sign a contract that helps to create a seamless process for sharing electronic health records between the Department of Defense and the VA.
- As Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, Wilkie helped to refocus the DOD on the human side of conflict and the importance of families, by:
- Committing DOD to develop a holistic talent management strategy devoted to improving recruitment and meeting the changing circumstances of today’s modern military, including undertaking a review of constant rotation for service members;
- Enhancing support for military families with special medical or educational needs;
- Working to consolidate and streamline military healthcare systems; and
- Initiating a review of DOD-provided childcare services with the goal of implementing strategies that will improve access to and the quality of the system.
COMMITTED TO SERVICE: Robert Wilkie has devoted decades of service to the Nation, both as a member of the military and as a government employee.
- Robert Wilkie is a veteran, having served in the United States military reserves since 1997. Currently a United States Air Force Reservist, Lieutenant Colonel Wilkie served on active duty from 2009 to 2010 and in 2014. He has also served in the United States Navy Reserves.
- As the son of a wounded combat soldier, Wilkie understands the critical role of the VA in meeting the essential needs of America’s veterans and their families. Wilkie’s father, was a highly decorated soldier who was wounded three times in Vietnam.
- Wilkie served in multiple public policy roles in Congress, at the Pentagon, and at the National Security Council, including as an Assistant Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2009.
PRAISE FOR WILKIE: President Trump’s selection of Robert Wilkie as Secretary of the VA has already garnered support from the veterans community.
- Vietnam Veterans of America: “We are confident that Wilkie, a veteran of both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force, has the credentials and experience to lead the second largest government agency in this nation … Wilkie has a wealth of experience, which he has evidenced in his current role as acting secretary. From his early years at Ft. Bragg through his more recent positions at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, Wilkie … has proven his commitment to the security of our nation and to those whom we send in harm’s way.”
- Disabled American Veterans: “With years of leadership experience in the Department of Defense, Mr. Wilkie has a deep understanding of navigating federal government policies. The acting secretary is himself a veteran, and we have no doubt he will continue to build upon the strong foundation put in place by Secretaries McDonald and Shulkin.”
- Wounded Warrior Project: “In his tenure as Acting Secretary, Wilkie has demonstrated tremendous ability to lead and focus on the issues of highest concern in the veteran community.”