Another glass ceiling shattered: AMVETS elects its first-ever female commander

Julia LeDoux
August 26, 2019 - 10:18 am
Jan Brown

Photo courtesy AMVETS

For the first time in its 75 year history, AMVETS will be led by a woman.

Jan Brown was tapped to serve as the organization’s 2019 – 2020 national commander Aug. 24 during its national convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I’m excited to really work together as an AMVETS family because that’s what we are,” Brown said in a release. “That’s how we’re going to continue to grow if we include our family.”

Enlisting just 10 days after her high school graduation, Brown spent 27 years in the Air Force, serving in Guam, Turkey, Germany, and the Philippines before retiring in 2000.

Brown joined AMVETS in 1996 while on active duty and has assumed a variety of leadership roles in the organization. Prior to being named the organization’s commander, Brown served as its 2nd national vice commander.

Like AMVETS commanders before her, during her year in office Brown will take on a veteran-related project. She has chosen to focus on Save A Warrior, a Newark, Ohio organization that provides mental health and wellness, suicide prevention and post-traumatic stress services to veterans, active-duty personnel, police firefighters and other first responders.

“There are parts of ourselves that the traditional medical model is not equipped to heal or nourish, adding to our suffering," said Brown. “AMVETS works relentlessly to heal American veterans, and I believe through this project, we will continue to work to see that veterans are living well, not just ‘un-sick,’ and we’ll begin to curb the national veteran suicide crisis.”

Brown’s granddaughter is also a member of AMVETS and she hopes she will serve the organization on the national level as well.

“In AMVETS, we have strong women who don’t have to be overzealous when serving in such prominent roles,” she said. “I think we continue to realize that women aren’t weak and dainty. There are a lot of women out there that can take on a combat mission.”

AMVETS has more than 250,000 members. The veterans advocacy organization works to enhance the quality of life for veterans, their families and survivors. Anyone who has honorably served or currently serving in the nation’s armed forces can become a member.

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