WASHINGTON (AP) — Days before Joe Biden becomes president, incoming first lady Jill Biden is taking a step toward fulfilling a campaign promise to revive a support program for military families that she once led with former first lady Michelle Obama.
Jill Biden on Thursday was naming an executive director of that program, known as Joining Forces.
Rory Brosius, 37, is on the president-elect’s transition team and was a senior adviser to Jill Biden during the campaign. Brosius previously was deputy director of Joining Forces.
“Military families still needed support,” Brosius told The Associated Press in a telephone interview before she was to join Jill Biden for a virtual listening session with organizations that support military families.
“We’ll be spending the next few months listening and learning,” said Brosius, the wife of a Marine Corps veteran. The community supported by Joining Forces “is the community that I’m part of.”
Mrs. Obama and Jill Biden, as the wife of then-Vice President Joe Biden, launched Joining Forces in 2011 to encourage members of the public and the private sector to find ways big and small to support service members, veterans, their families and their caregivers. The program focused on education, employment and wellness.
Jill Biden brought to the White House a unique awareness to military family issues. Her late son, Beau, had served in the Delaware Army National Guard. Jill Biden continued her work with military families through the Biden Foundation after leaving the White House in 2017.
The Trump administration focused on veterans and the military, with President Donald Trump increasing the military budget during his term. Outgoing first lady Melania Trump and Karen Pence, the wife of vice president Mike Pence, also worked on military family support issues, but without the banner of Joining Forces.