On March 12, 2020, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19. Our agencies are still working hard to deliver quality services and support to the commonwealth’s veteran and military communities. If you are veteran, service member, or a family member requiring our assistance or other resources.
Please click below to learn more.
The Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs serves the Commonwealth in four critical ways.
First, it oversees the Virginia Department of Veteran Services (DVS), whose mission is to serve Virginia’s Veterans, Guardsmen, Reservists, and their family members, by ensuring they receive timely transition, employment and education assistance, benefits, health care and long-term care and recognition they have earned through service to our Nation and Commonwealth. The Secretary distinguishes and elevates issues and opportunities for Veterans and transitioning Service members in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Of primary importance are the employment, health care, and education needs of our Veterans. With the seventh-largest Veteran population in the Nation and the greatest number of Veteransin the workforce per capita, the Secretariat maintains a particular focus on employment of our newest generation of Veterans who have the current skills needed here in the Commonwealth.
Second, the Secretariat serves as the primary liaison for the Commonwealth to the United States Department of Defense and its military communities. It leads the Governor’s initiatives focused on relationship building with and support of our military and defense installations and the communities surrounding them. Through the Governor’s Virginia Military Advisory Council (VMAC) and active Secretariat community involvement, the Commonwealth continues to be an engaged host in support of the military and defense missions in the state.
Next, the Secretary oversees the Virginia Department of Military Affairs (DMA), DMA’s mission is to effectively integrate military and homeland defense capabilities into applicable state operations; employ, train, and manage the Virginia Militia, consisting of the Virginia National Guard (the Virginia Army National Guard and the Virginia Air National Guard) and the Virginia Defense Forces; and to ensure the safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth during declared emergencies.
Lastly, the Secretariat oversees the Veteran Service Foundation (VSF). The VSF provides supplemental funding to programs, services, and initiatives of the Department of Veteran Services when state and federal resources are unavailable. All charitable donations to VSF stay right here in the Commonwealth and go toward providing access and services to Virginia Veterans.
We are honored to serve the Commonwealth and our Veterans , and look forward to working with you to continue to make Virginia the most Veteran and military friendly state in the Nation.
The second largest active duty population (Approx 130,000 active duty personnel).
The greatest number of veterans in the workforce per capita.
The second largest percentage of women veterans.
The largest percentage of veterans under the age of 39.
1 in 12 Virginians is a veteran (approx. 714,000).
Added more Veterans to its workforce than all other states put together.
The 8th most diverse Veteran population among the 50 states
Virginia was named the “Best State for Military Retirees," two years in a row (2019 and 2020), by studies conducted by WalletHub.com. You can read the full 2020 study by clicking below.Read More
We are proud to share with you the work of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS). Please click on the link to read the entire 2019 Annual Report to the General Assembly. Below are some major highlights of the work performed for our Virginia veterans.
During the 2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018-July 1, 2019), your DVS team:
Virginia’s Secretariat of Veterans & Defense Affairs is proud to promote the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI), a partnership between the Association of Defense Communities and Blue Star Families. The CMSI has established a weekly poll to gauge the “pain points” of military families and veterans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you and your military family members to take the poll weekly, so you can inform decision makers on how this pandemic is impacting your military family. You can take the Pain Points Poll by clicking the image above or by visiting https://bluestarfam.
May 18, 2020
As military personnel retire this year, they will find themselves dropped into another war – the one the U.S. is waging against the coronavirus.
May 14, 2020
On this edition of This Week In Richmond, host David Bailey welcomes the Hon. Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security, the Hon. Carlos Hopkins, Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, and the Hon. Daniel Carey, M.D., Secretary of Health and Human Resources, to talk about issues as they relate to the current COVID-19 landscape.
May 11, 2020
Airman and Soldiers part of the Virginia National Guard’s (VNG) Richmond-based 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package are stepping up to provide rapid testing for the state’s long-term care facilities.