Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Michael Douglas and Tracy Morgan are among the stars who will participate in public service announcements in support of the newly launched Got Your Six campaign, aimed at improving the image of America’s military veterans and helping them successfully reintegrate into civilian life.
This national effort kicks off Friday with the support of many of the major Hollywood studios, TV networks, talent guilds, talent agencies.
The idea was first formed during a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative America and was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative.
“The entertainment industry captures our imaginations, opens our eyes and touches our hearts, and I’m proud to work with them on our Joining Forces initiative,” the First Lady said in a statement. “By sharing the stories of strength and resilience that define our military families, we can motivate even more Americans to honor these courageous individuals in new ways. That’s why I’m looking forward to working with the industry in the months and years ahead."
“Got your six” is an expression used by people in the military which means, “I’ve got your back, and you’ve got mine.” The six o’clock position is the designation of the rear of a military formation.
In this effort, Hollywood is joining with more than two dozen non-profits to support a wide-ranging, bi-partisan campaign to help veterans find jobs, increase educational opportunities, securing housing for the homeless, strengthen the role of families and turn out volunteers in communities nationwide.
“Together, we are uniting to bring awareness to this incredibly important issue of bringing our country's trained leaders home to be a valued part of our communities across the nation,” ” said Ron Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Studios and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran..
Among the entertainment partners participating in the program so far are (in alphabetical order): A+E Networks, ABC, Bad Robot Productions, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), CBS Corporation, Directors Guild of America, Entertainment Industries Council, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Fox Audience Strategy, foursquare, Funny or Die, HBO, International Creative Management (ICM), NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Producers Guild of America West, SAG-AFTRA, Shine America, Showtime, Sony Pictures Entertainment, United Talent Agency (UTA), Viacom Media Networks, Warner Bros., William Morris Endeavor (WME), and Writers Guild of America West.
Other stars among those who will participate in the first wave of public service announcements are Milla Jovovich, Bradley Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brian Williams, Pharrell Williams and Wendy Williams.
The studios, agents and producers have also said they will seek script integrations for TV and film projects about the situations faced by veterans and the creation of original digital content. The hope is that this will increase visibility of the veteran’s issues and plight. The PSA’s will suggest ways all American can connect and engage with the Got Your Six campaign, including creating logo merchandise, special events, and “calls to action” for individuals., according to the announcement press release.
There will be a press conference Friday morning to provide more information.
The six stated “pillars” of the program are: Jobs, Education, Health, Housing, Family, and leadership.
For each pillar, there is a non-profit group that is acting as “activation partner,” and is an expert in the field. Goodwill Industries is the National Activation Partner. A complete list of activation partners is at www.gotyour6.org.
The activation partners, according to the announcement, have developed specific “calls to action” for the American public, designed to provide tangible, achievable opportunities for any person who wishes to express gratitude or serve their community in support of Got Your 6.
Several of the campaign elements will use Intercast, a rich-media interactive platform developed by several Got Your 6 partners. For a start it will show the campaign’s Friday on their websites and social media channels. Viewers will be encouraged to chat, answer polls, submit questions and make donations.
Activation Partners, in addition to Goodwill Industries International, include the 100,000 Homes Campaign, Blue Star Families, Give an Hour, Military Child Education Coalition, The Mission Continues, The Pat Tillman Foundation, Team Rubicon, Student Veterans of America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes.
Groups named as strategic partners include the American Red Cross, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Code of Support Foundation, Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE), Operation Gratitude, Points of Light Institute, Sierra Club, Volunteers of America, USO, and Warrior Gateway.
Chris Marvin, a former Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot who was wounded while in Afghanistan, is now Director of Civilian-Military Partnerships for ServiceNation and the Managing Director of Got Your 6.
“Over the next five years, more than one million service members will return to civilian life,” said Marvin in a statement. “It is imperative that Americans see this as an opportunity. As we welcome this generation of veterans home, it is crucial that we view them and their families as leaders and civic assets. Got Your 6 is a clear call to action for all Americans to join with our veterans in reinvigorating our communities.”