Our 6 Month Anniversary

Posted November 7, 2012


A steering committee comprised of every major network, studio, and guild in the entertainment industry teamed with over two dozen of the nation’s top veterans’ service organizations to bring Got Your 6 to life.

It began with a whisper, after Oscar-winner Tom Hanks wore a pin on the lapel of his tuxedo at the Academy Awards in February- a number 6 with a star in it. More TV sightings of the pin followed throughout the spring:  Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Kathy Griffin, Carson Daly, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and others, all leading up to a news conference that formally launched Got Your 6 six months ago.

Since Got Your 6 officially launched on May 10th, 2012, our campaign to change America’s conversation about our veterans and to work toward making sure those veterans and their families have what they need to make the transition from military to civilian life has been in effect. The launch, alone, garnered 137 million media impressions and coverage by The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, the Washington Post, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, E! News, and other media outlets.  It also launched the Got Your 6 public service announcement, featuring Hanks, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Brian Williams, Pharrell Williams, Judith Light, Bradley Cooper, Milla Jovovich, Michael Douglas, Wendy Williams and several others. Comedian and Marine Corps Reservist Rob Riggle starred in a “Funny or Die” video made for Got Your 6.

Since then, literally millions have seen that 6 in a star-studded public service announcement, on the Got Your 6 website, and across social media. Millions more saw the Got Your 6 PSA at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, during the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 this summer

Millions more watched NBC’s “Stars Earn Stripes,” co-hosted by retired General Wesley Clark, where celebrities like Dean Cain, Laila Ali, and others earned over $200,000 for Got Your 6 charities.  The San Diego Padres teamed with Got Your 6 for a Military Appreciation Day on August 19th, when hundreds of veterans were guests of honor at the game and thousands at the ballpark got to see the campaign’s PSA. Got Your 6 is also partnering with the NFL, to enable nonprofit partners to team with NFL clubs to activate communities around the league’s Veterans Day “Salute To Service.”

The Got Your 6 pins even made it to the Summer Olympics in London this year. Olympic athletes April Ross and Jennifer Kessy sported their pins during their run towards a silver medal in women’s beach volleyball. Through a relationship with the Chief of Staff of the Army, Got Your 6 helped promote and gain publicity for 20 Olympic athletes and coaches serving in the U.S. military.

Just a month after Got Your 6 officially launched, recognition of the campaign’s efforts came from former President Bill Clinton, highlighting our nonprofit commitments during June’s Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago. President Clinton joined eight Got Your 6 representatives on stage during the opening plenary of the conference. Also, Got Your 6’s managing director, Chris Marvin, was singled out for his leadership by the National Conference on Citizenship.  The conference awarded Chris the “HOOAH” Award, which recognizes a veteran who defines citizenship through service to the country, both in uniform and beyond.

To mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings of World War II on 6/6, Got Your 6 partnered with Kevin Bacon and his foundation to issue a call to action for the general public to “show their 6”.  Among others actions, he urged citizens to volunteer, pack care packages and emergency kits, and read books about and by veterans.

Got Your 6 and Lifetime Television hosted benefit concerts at the political conventions this summer.  When Republicans gathered in Tampa, musical guest Sara Evans was joined by special guest Meghan McCain and her parents, Senator and Mrs. John McCain.  At the Democratic convention in Charlotte a week later, musical guest Flo Rida was joined by special guests Eva Longoria and General Wesley Clark.

On September 11, Got Your 6 and the Pat Tillman Foundation co-hosted a forum on service and sacrifice at Pace University, just blocks away from Ground Zero in New York. The event was moderated by Jim Dao of the New York Times and featured Marie Tillman, a FDNY firefighter who was in Tower One on 9/11, and two Tillman Military Scholars with combat experience.

Over 1.2 million people have logged onto our website to learn more and to support Got Your 6 by purchasing Got Your 6 pins, paracord bracelets, and t-shirts – 22,000 pins alone, as of early October.  All of that has generated revenue for Got Your 6 partners totaling more than $100,000.

Beyond awareness, Got Your 6 partners are taking action, focusing on the 6 Pillars of Reintegration:  Health, Housing, Family, Education, Jobs, and Leadership.

For the Jobs pillar, Got Your 6 convened a meeting in Los Angeles on June 19th, bringing together 70 human resources and hiring executives from most of the studios, agencies, networks, and guilds to launch a joint hiring initiative within the industry.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Got Your 6 co-hosted a Hollywood Hiring Fair in August. The U.S. Chamber, being a lead activation partner for the Jobs pillar, hosted hiring fairs across the country.  They confirmed their 10,000th veteran hire in September.

On 7/24, we formally launched our Education pillar with the Pat Tillman Foundation and Student Veterans of America at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  At this event, we unveiled the first 50 colleges and universities who have pledged to become more veteran-friendly and meet certain metrics to ensure increased college completion rates.  With support from Got Your 6, the Pat Tillman Foundation and Student Veterans of America have partnered with Operation College Promise to conduct an extensive six-year study on the college retention, performance, and graduation rates for student veterans.

Our lead activation partner in the Housing pillar, the 100,000 Homes Campaign, recently completed an effort called “Rapid Results” in a number of cities.  In four cities—including San Diego and Atlanta—teams were able to house more than 100 homeless veterans in 100 days. In partnership with Got Your 6’s digital media firm, Brand Knew, we’ve created an web application for the 100,000 Homes campaign to allow the general public to report and support homeless veterans in their communities.

Give an Hour, our lead activation partner in the Health pillar, has developed plans with the professional mental health organizations—the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatrist Association—to host an event in New York in early 2013 that will dramatically advance the Got Your 6 Health pillar goals.

Our lead activation partner in the Leadership pillar, The Mission Continues, has inducted four classes of Fellows in 2012—for a total of more than 300—all of which will complete six months terms of service and add to the Got Your 6 goal in the Leadership pillar.  Meanwhile, Team Rubicon and their hundreds of veteran volunteers descended on the East Coast to assist with response and recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

For the Family pillar, NBC Publishing is partnering with lead activation partner Blue Star Families to create a digital reintegration toolkit for over 300,000 military families.  The Military Child Education Coalition has partnered with Joining Forces to “Educate the Educators”, bringing more than 100 colleges to help prepare teachers to work with military children.

Got Your 6 continues to work closely with the White House and Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs to develop the public sector role in the campaign—including a recently finalized memorandum of understanding with Department of Labor VETS and work with the VA on National Suicide Prevention Month.

It began with a whisper, but six months after our launch, Got Your 6 is talking out loud about ways to bridge the military-civilian divide.  We are working with all of our partners to support veterans and their families.  Got Your 6 served as a co-convener for the White Oak Corporate Roundtable, a gathering of private sector leaders focused on cross-sector collaboration designed to share the wisdom gained from the second gathering of “Joining Forces for Military Families” at the White Oak Plantation in Florida.  The term “Got Your 6” has become more prevalent in popular culture, used in four TV shows, including CBS’s Hawaii 5-0 and NBC’s Law and Order: SVU since our launch in May.  And the Got Your 6 PSA has been a fixture on multiple networks during primetime, NFL football, and even during the Major League Baseball Playoff.  In the months to come, we are going to get even louder!