Entertainment Community Launches Industry-wide ‘Veteran Fellowship Program’

Initiative led by Got Your 6, Veterans in Media and Entertainment to place and mentor veterans in variety of entertainment roles

LOS ANGELES (November 6, 2017) — Supporting the entertainment community’s long-standing goal of expanding career opportunities for military veterans, Got Your 6 and Veterans in Media and Entertainment (VME), along with numerous major entertainment partners, today announced the Veteran Fellowship Program, a new initiative designed to place and mentor qualified veteran interns throughout the industry.

The Veteran Fellowship Program will provide veterans with internship and career development opportunities by placing them in corporate (marketing, legal, business affairs) and creative internships (from on-set to on-site at live concerts) with top-tier studios, networks, agencies, production companies, guilds, and unions.

Founding entertainment partners leading this initiative include 21st Century Fox, 44 Blue, A+E Networks, CBS,The Ebersol Lanigan Company, DreamWorks Animation, Endemol Shine North America, HBO, Lionsgate, Live Nation Entertainment (including its House of Blues, Ticketmaster, Insomniac, and Roc Nation groups), NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, United Talent Agency, Valhalla Entertainment, and Viacom.

Supported by a grant from the national empowerment organization Got Your 6 and the retailer Macy’s, the Veteran Fellowship Program is administered by VME (formerly Veterans in Film & Television), the leading professional organization for military veterans working in the entertainment industry. VME works with industry partners to collect open position descriptions, curates veteran candidates for the positions, and supports Veteran Fellows through weekly check-ins and networking and educational events with other veterans throughout Los Angeles.

For their participation, industry partners pair Veteran Fellows with mentors, organize monthly internal education meetings, and host industry-side networking events on a rotating basis to bring together the entire class of Fellows.

“As Got Your 6 celebrates our five year anniversary, we applaud the entertainment community’s growing recognition of our veterans as the leaders and assets we know them to be,” said Iraq War veteran and Got Your 6 Executive Director Bill Rausch. “In the past, veterans were the best kept secret in Hollywood. Today, they are not only proving to be invaluable contributors in telling accurate and compelling veteran stories, they’re bringing their ingrained sense of teamwork and dedication to employers all over Hollywood.”

Cris Abrego, CEO, Endemol Shine North America, said, “We’re proud to be one of the initial studios to participate in the Veteran Fellowship Program, an important initiative that will provide our military veterans with first-hand experience and career opportunities across a wide array of entertainment disciplines.”

HBO Executive Vice President of Programming, Amy Gravitt, adds, “Making the leap from the Navy into an industry internship was a dizzying and pivotal moment in my life. I’m proud to work at a company that is providing that same opportunity for a new crop of veterans, with the help of Got Your 6 and VME.”

Karen Kraft, VME board member says, “We want to give a very special thanks to Got Your 6 and Macy’s for making this initiative possible. These competitive internships will enable a new generation of veterans to find real-world work experience, and mentors, as they build their second careers in the entertainment industry. And, as more civilians meet and work with veterans, and realize how unique we are from our diverse backgrounds to our career aspirations, veterans can showcase their professionalism, creativity, and dedication.

“We are proud to participate in the launch of a program designed to further industry opportunities for our veterans,” said Lionsgate Chief Human Resources Officer Ross Pollack. “Their experience, dedication, and work ethic helps strengthen our employee workforce, and initiatives supporting their recruitment and hiring are a top priority for us.”

Laura Roenick, Director-Development of Recruitment and Diversity at UTA states, “UTA has been an official partner of Got Your 6 since its inception and we’re thrilled to see how the program has evolved to now include fellowships for veterans. This initiative is a tremendous opportunity to support veterans who will be our industry’s next generation of leaders.”

Created in 2012 and backed by a coalition of major studios, networks, and talent agencies, Got Your 6 works to change the way Americans think about military veterans by normalizing the depictions of veterans on film and television. It also administers the “6 Certified” program, which recognizes film, television, theatrical, or digital content that accurately portrays veterans as leaders and civic assets.

For information about the Veteran Fellowship Program, email internships@vmeconnect.org.

About Got Your 6:
Got Your 6 unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners to empower veterans. We believe that veterans are leaders, team builders, and problem solvers who have the unique potential to strengthen communities across the country. As a coalition, Got Your 6 works to integrate these perspectives into popular culture, engage veterans and civilians together to foster understanding, and empower veterans to lead in their communities. For more information, visit gotyour6.org.

About Veterans in Media and Entertainment: 
Veterans in Media and Entertainment (VME) is a 501(c)3 educational, empowerment, and professional development organization. Founded in 2012 by military veterans and for veterans, VME began as a grassroots movement and now has over 3,000 members across the nation who work in all entertainment career fields including creative to corporate leadership, production trades, programming, and business affairs. Through a variety of programs and fellowship events, VME connects members to career opportunities such as jobs, internships, and mentorships.