WASHINGTON, DC - SPARTA, a non-profit advocacy organization representing transgender Service members in the United States, is excited to announce the election of Emily Shilling as its next President and Board Chair, effective on the first of May, 2023.
Ms. Shilling (She/Her), a US Navy Commander, has been a member of SPARTA since 2019 and most recently held the position of Director of Membership. She has served, since 2005, flying high-performance aircraft carrier-based jets such as the EA-6B and the (E)F/A-18E/F/G Hornet/Growler on 60 combat missions and as a high-risk Test Pilot. She is the recipient of Out & Equal’s Corporate Advocate of the Year (2022) and the senior-ranking out transgender line officer in the United States Navy. "As an all-volunteer force, and to garner the people’s trust, the military must reflect the makeup of the people,” said Ms. Shilling. “Helping this same diverse force thrive is the first step of any great leader in ensuring warfighter effectiveness and readiness.”
Bree Fram, who has served as SPARTA’s President for the past two years, said, “Emily Shilling is a phenomenal leader, a barrier-breaker, and an excellent representative of transgender military service. She’s the leader SPARTA needs right now to shape the future of transgender service. There is no all-volunteer advocacy organization that has more impact than SPARTA. Pound-for-pound SPARTA punches well above its weight, and Emily is the perfect leader to tap in.” Reflecting upon her tenure, Fram states, “In my eight years serving in SPARTA leadership positions, transgender troops have experienced dizzying highs and lows related to our opportunity to serve. In that time, I’m most proud that they stood tall in the face of adversity and shattered many stereotypes by successfully executing the mission and sharing their stories.”
“I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to lead the amazing members of SPARTA,” continued Fram. “Their courage, resiliency, and determinations are a beacon for those that will follow us into service and a powerful example of everything this country demands of the people that wear its colors. Transgender people belong in all places, on all teams, and even on every battlefield.” Bree looks forward to continuing her efforts to support transgender service through telling their stories and actions within the Department of Defense in her new role as a co-lead of the Department of the Air Force’s LGBTQ+ Initiatives Team, a Barrier Analysis Working Group.
SPARTA is a group of transgender people currently serving or has served in the military. SPARTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization not affiliated with the Department of Defense. Membership is open to transgender (to include non-binary and gender-nonconforming) individuals currently serving in the United States uniformed services – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.