May 23, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 300 military, government, and private sector stakeholders came together to identify actionable initiatives to empower military spouses and shape efforts to bridge the employment gap for military spouses, ultimately strengthening the bedrock of our nation’s defense, during the eighth annual Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Employment Summit, presented by T-Mobile, on May 22 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been to changing the narrative on military spouse employment,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “I haven’t been to a single military installation this year where the base leadership hasn’t said that military spouse employment is anything less than their No. 1 priority. They understand how it’s impacting retention. They understand how it’s impacting their families and how important it is to get it right, because it’s mission critical for each of the services.”

Sharene Brown, spouse of the 21st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, kicked off the summit with a fireside chat focused on the challenges facing military families and how organizations, like Hiring Our Heroes, are addressing these challenges.

In addition to the panel discussions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes presented the Bonnie Amos Impact Award for Lifetime Achievement to Hollyanne Milley, a critical care nurse with more than 37 years of experience.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to accept this on behalf of all working military spouses,” she said.

Milley is married to retired Gen. Mark Milley, who served as the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the four decades Gen. Milley served on active duty, Hollyanne Milley transferred her nursing license nine times during 20 moves. She has held 14 different nursing jobs throughout her career and has been a strong advocate for state licensure portability for military spouses.

Milley currently works for a cardiovascular group in Virginia. She frequently volunteers in the Appalachian Mountains, tending to those who cannot afford medical care. Milley serves as a Red Cross Disaster Volunteer and has been a senior advisor for many organizations, including the Red Cross, USO, Parent/School liaison, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Easter Seals and Army Emergency Relief.

Other award winners include:

  • Community Leader Impact Award: State of Maryland
  • Military Spouse Entrepreneur Impact Award: Christie Nix, Fireside Surf
  • Military Spouse Volunteer Impact Award: Rory Brosius