WASHINGTON D.C. – SPART*A, the nation’s leading transgender military service organization, is proud to welcome our newest member of the Board of Directors: LeAnne Withrow. LeAnne fills the vital role of Communications Director and is charged with engaging the media, the public, and other stakeholders in the ongoing struggle toward equality and inclusion for transgender service members. SPART*A recognizes the need for open, clear dialogue and the free flow of information as policies continue to change. Even with the recent reversal of “The Ban," transgender service members face challenges ahead and SPART*A is committed to meeting them head on.
“For me, finding SPART*A was like seeing a lighthouse in a storm,” LeAnne said. “I had no real resources to turn to, and certainly no community of peers. As soon as I joined I was welcomed with open arms, I had a place where I could talk to people who understood my journey.”
LeAnne has been a member of SPART*A since early 2020 and this is her first official role within the organization. LeAnne serves as a Staff Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard, where she has been as the only out, openly-serving transgender Soldier since 2018.
LeAnne joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 2010. She now serves as a Mass Communications Non-commissioned Officer in Charge with 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, out of Chicago, IL, where she has been since 2013. She deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2015 to 2016, and has been activated for dozens of other missions ranging from domestic flood-fighting operations and civil disturbances, to overseas training exercises like Eager Lion, Arctic Eagle, and Ulchi Freedom Guardian.
“I’ve spent my military career in the public affairs field, and I know how valuable it is to get timely, accurate information out,” LeAnne said. “SPART*A genuinely helps people. It was a haven for me, and has worked around the clock on behalf of transgender service members across the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security since Day One, and I am truly honored to bring my skills to bear as we continue to move forward.”
LeAnne assumes the mantle of Communications Director from Bree Fram, who remains on the Board as Vice President.