For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
Sherman Gillums Jr. Named Chief Strategy Officer of American Veterans
AMVETS National Headquarters, Jan. 23, 2018 – Sherman Gillums Jr., a retired
U.S. Marine, has been named chief strategy officer of American Veterans (AMVETS),
the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans service
organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, with
more than 250,000 members nationwide.
“For nearly 75 years, American Veterans has championed the interests of all
veterans and their families through leadership, advocacy, and services. I am
honored to be a part of that effort as we face major changes to how VA healthcare
and benefits are administered, as well as problems, such as suicide, homelessness,
and opioid abuse, that plague our nation’s veterans. American Veterans will face
these issues head on and ensure our country fulfills its promise to those who served
and sacrificed,” said Gillums.
“AMVETS is very proud to have one of America’s foremost and most distinguished
voices in veterans advocacy join our team. Sherman has long shared our passion and
determination for taking on some of the most challenging issues facing veterans,
and together, that’s exactly what we are going to do,” said AMVETS National
Commander Marion Polk.
Sherman Gillums Jr. began his military career in the U.S. Marine Corps when he
enlisted at the age of 17 and quickly ascended into leadership, retiring as a chief
warrant officer. During his military career, Gillums earned two Navy/Marine Corps
Commendation Medals, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Drill Instructor
Ribbon, and Global War on Terror Service Medal. He was recognized as “Battalion
Drill Instructor of the Year” and meritoriously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant
in 1999, followed by appointment to the rank of warrant officer a year later.
Four months after the September 11, 2001, attacks, as he prepared to deploy to
Afghanistan with the 1st Marine Division, he was involved in a vehicle collision at
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and became severely disabled at age 29. Gillums
received an honorable discharge from military service and went on to pursue a new
career in advocacy for veterans and their families.
He began his career in veteran advocacy as a national service officer in San Diego,
where he developed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits claims and
clinical appeals for veterans and families in the area. Gillums continued his work in
the VA benefits claims arena as an appellate representative at the Board of Veterans’
Appeals in Washington, DC. He was promoted to associate executive director of
Paralyzed Veterans of America’s veterans benefits department in 2011 and
subsequently served as the organization’s executive director for two years.
Gillums holds a master’s degree from the University of San Diego School of Business
Administration and completed his executive education at Harvard Business School.
AMVETS is the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans
service organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served
honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan
advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.