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Guest Name
Sherman Gillums, Jr., Chief Advocacy Officer of AMVETS
Guest Occupation
Chief Advocacy Officer of AMVETS
Guest Biography

Sherman Gillums, Jr., the Chief Advocacy Officer of AMVETS, began his military career in the U.S. Marine Corps when he enlisted at the age of 17.  He quickly ascended into leadership, retiring as a chief warrant officer.  During his military career, he earned two Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the 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.  He 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 VA benefits claims and appeals for veterans and families in the area.  He 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 before joining the leadership of AMVETS.


Mr. 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.


He has written editorials for the NY Times, The Hill, and Buffalo News publications, and he has been regularly quoted in Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Military Times.  He has testified before Congress as an expert witness on veterans benefits and has appeared on many news shows including CNN, Fox, CBS News, and C-SPAN, and many more.