In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing the rear of an airplane as the six o’clock position. If you picture yourself at the center of a clock face, the area directly in front of you is twelve o’clock. Six o’clock is what lies behind you. On a battlefield, your “six” is the most vulnerable. So, when someone tells you that they’ve “got your six,” it means they’re watching your back. By extension, that person expects you to have their back as well. “Got your six” is now a ubiquitous term in the military that also highlights the way military members look out for each other.
The sense of loyalty and cooperation embedded in the term “got your six” inspired the creation of this campaign and should inspire all Americans to better understand and empower our returning veterans and military families. Got Your 6 creates opportunities for veterans and civilians to join together to bridge the civilian-military divide and reinvigorate our communities.
We are at a unique moment in history, as our nation’s longest war draws to an end. More than one million military veterans will re-enter civilian life in the next three to five years. Too many people and groups see veteran integration as a burden on society or as a problem that needs to be fixed. Got Your 6 wants all Americans to know that returning veterans provide our country with great opportunities. It’s up to all of us to aid in their transition, foster their leadership skills, and stand beside them to reinvigorate our communities. Veterans are leaders and civic assets. If we want them to take leadership roles in our communities, we must have high expectations of them and ask, “What’s next?” Got Your 6 encourages veterans and military families to succeed at home and provides opportunities for them to do so.
Veterans and their families have sacrificed and served our country, yet many civilians don’t fully understand military culture. By increasing our understanding, we can all benefit from our veterans’ unique skills and experiences. Supportive communities recognize veterans as assets and encourage them to be civic leaders. Supporting Got Your 6 means supporting civilian-military collaboration, and supporting those who have always supported you.
Got Your 6 uses an innovative model of cross-sector collaboration to bring the public, private, and nonprofit sectors together to bridge the civilian-military divide. The coalition of nonprofits assembled by Got Your 6 has the unique ability to leverage their networks and enhance the work they are accomplishing on the ground. Additionally, Got Your 6 draws attention to the nonprofits’ work and fosters understanding through an unprecedented awareness campaign that includes a national publicity effort led by the campaign’s entertainment industry supporters. The power of collective impact is a crucial part of the success of Got Your 6.
The entertainment industry is the catalyst for the Got Your 6 campaign’s message. By utilizing the reach and resources of the entertainment industry, Got Your 6 is able to: (1) speak to all Americans with the clear message that veterans are leaders and civic assets; (2) draw attention to the work that the Got Your 6 nonprofit partners are performing on the ground; (3) bridge the civilian-military divide by providing tools, platforms, and resources that Americans can use to better understand veterans and military culture; and (4) drive awareness and foster understanding through media coverage, script integration, events, and support from talent and executives.
The entertainment industry supporters do not provide direct funding to the operations of the Got Your 6 campaign, but do offer in-kind contributions. The type and level of in-kind contributions vary company to company. The Be The Change, Inc. Board of Directors provides governance for Got Your 6, in coordination with the advice and recommendations of the campaign’s nonprofit and entertainment industry partners.
PSAs help raise public awareness and spread the word about veteran reintegration. Veterans experience negative stigmas because of misinterpreted information about homelessness, poverty, unemployment, and PTSD. Got Your 6 aims to correct these views and show that veterans are generally extremely successful, capable, and intelligent leaders who come home with unique skills and the desire to serve in their communities. Got Your 6’s PSAs helps bridge the civilian-military divide by helping to create a new conversation in America, one in which veterans and military families are perceived as leaders and civic assets.
Since 2012, because of their partnership with Got Your 6, our nonprofit partners have received nearly $6.4 million in financial support and millions more in in-kind support. In addition to financial support, Got Your 6 uses its ties to the entertainment industry to draw attention to the work that its nonprofit partners are accomplishing on the ground. Lead nonprofit partners develop a plan to track progress towards tangible goals, establish a method to engage the general public to take action, and formulate a strategy to utilize the resources of the campaign.
Many of Got Your 6’s nonprofit partners provide direct services to veterans. Therefore, by supporting its nonprofit partners—financially, strategically, and through the awareness campaign—Got Your 6 increases the number of veterans those nonprofits are able to serve. Got Your 6 also provides resources, opportunities, and calls to action for both veterans and civilians. By working to bridge the civilian-military divide, Got Your 6 helps create an environment conducive to veteran success—one in which veterans and military families are perceived as leaders and civic assets.
The nonprofit partners of Got Your 6 have established tangible and measurable goals in the six key pillars of veteran reintegration: jobs, education, health, housing, family, and leadership. Eight of the nonprofit partners have taken leading roles and created commitments that demonstrate impact in each of the six pillars. Got Your 6 tracks and reports on the metrics behind these goals. You can see each nonprofit’s progress.
The annual operating budget of the Got Your 6 campaign is underwritten through the generous support of our individual donors, sponsors and funders. Be The Change, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, is the organizing body and fiscal sponsor of Got Your 6.
Got Your 6 uses the funding received from individual donors, sponsors and funders to support activation and awareness-driving activities through public relations, marketing, web, social media, production, events, advertising, and campaign management.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is among the government stakeholders that have provided continual counsel to the Got Your 6 campaign. Other government stakeholders include the White House’s Joining Forces campaign, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the Corporation for National & Community Service. These stakeholders provide counsel only; The Got Your 6 campaign receives no government funding.
Donations to Got Your 6 can be made on the website through the “Donate” button or sending a check to Got Your 6 c/o Be the Change, Inc., 1400 I Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Please also include “Got Your 6” in the check’s memo.
Donors do not receive a Got Your 6 pin with their donation. Donors can place a separate order for a pin if they wish to receive one. Pins must be purchased by placing a merchandise order on the Got Your 6 website through the “Shop” button.
The Got Your 6 nonprofit partners serve as the subject matter experts for the campaign and work with the entertainment industry partners to drive strategic objectives. Got Your 6 has carefully selected 34 of the country’s best, national and local nonprofits with a focus on veterans and/or military families. New nonprofits are added periodically, by invitation only.