FRA welcomes its first female national president

Julia LeDoux
September 09, 2019 - 2:39 pm
FRA National Commander Donna Jansky

Photo courtesy of Donna Jansky

The Fleet Reserve Association has become the latest veterans group to elect a woman as its leader.

Donna M. Jansky will assume office as the FRA’s national president during its 92nd annual convention in Memphis, Tennessee later this month. 

“When I joined the FRA in 1992 I was still in the reserves,” she said. “My uncle got me involved. He was a very good mentor. He kept me informed and would take me to the meetings.”

The Salem, Massachusetts native joined the Navy in 1975, serving on active duty for eight years and as a reservist for 16, including a one-year activation for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She was honorably discharged in September 1999 at the rank of Aviation Structural Mechanic Chief Petty Officer.

Jansky said her election reflects the increasing number of women who are rising to top leadership posts as their numbers increase in both the military and veterans groups.

“Women are also the fastest-growing segment of the veterans’ population,” she said.

She said being an FRA member helped her to discover one of her greatest passions – that of being a member of an organization that helps veterans receive their rightful benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies.

“Because we are sea service-oriented, we all have that common bond,” she added.

During her time in the FRA, Jansky has served as president of North Shore Branch 031 and president of the North East / New England Region. She has also served in various leadership capacities at both the regional and national levels before being elected this year as national president.  

“The FRA has a proud legacy,” she said. “We were founded in 1924 by Chief Yeoman George Carlin to monitor all legislation that impacts enlisted personnel.”

The oldest and largest organization representing enlisted Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel, the FRA’s mission is to safeguard the pay, benefits, and entitlements of active duty, reserve, and retired members of the sea services, Jansky said.

“Whether a one-tour veteran, a reservist, or a retiree, you are all impacted by the laws enacted by elected officials,” she said.

Although the FRA is smaller than other veteran services organization, Jansky said it has a “unique shared culture and understanding of sea service personnel.”

Jansky is a 1998 graduate of Salem State University and holds a degree in business administration. She is currently employed by Abacus Technology, an information technology and management services firm.

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