Dear MSJDN Members,

It is my great honor to serve as the President of the Military Spouse JD Network for 2014-2015. Since joining MSJDN in 2011, my work on behalf of this organization has been among the most gratifying professional experiences of my career.  I hope it will become the same for each of you.

MSJDN’s job is to serve our members, our military community, and the legal profession. Over the next year, we will be rolling out our dues – starting June 1-  so we can better serve you! These dues will help us implement more benefits programs, like webinars and CLEs, MSJDN Moot Court, MSJDN Law Journal focused on legal issues impacting military families, and strengthened infrastructure – including a revamped website.

We’ve grown exponentially since we started in 2011 – from 2 to over 1,000! The Military has experienced great change over the past few years as two of our longest wars have drawn to an end, benefits have been cut, and more of our servicemembers are transitioning out of the military than ever before. Military families have embraced these changes while recognizing the many challenges they may bring. MSJDN can help serve an important role as our families address these challenges – through our probono program, Justice for Military Families, which includes a partnership with the Tragedy Assistance Program serving surviving family members of fallen servicemembers, and representing veterans as they seek their benefits from the VA through our partnership with MOAA.

I’m excited to introduce you to our new Pesident-Elect, Eleanor Vuono, who brings a wealth of knowledge about the Army JAG world and a ton of creativity and passion as a legal professional, mentor, and long-time member of MSJDN. We have also selected a new Board of Directors for both the Network and the Foundation, and new Chairs for our Committees. I welcome their leadership and look forward to working with them to enhance our benefit programs, our partnerships, and our opportunities to improve the legal profession, and I encourage you all to get to know them.

We are going to be all over the country this year. Homefront Rising in June in Tampa. Participation at the ABA Annual Meeting in August in Boston. Making the Right Moves in San Diego in October. Our 2015 Annual Reception in DC next May. I hope to have the chance to see many of you at these events.

Finally, I’d like to recognize our founder and fearless leader, Mary Reding. Mary has poured her heart and soul into this organization, and I’m so incredibly grateful. Every time I meet a new mil spouse attorney, I hear that familiar statement: “I thought I was the only one” – which we have heard time and time again, and which I’ve uttered myself (to Mary!).  I’m so proud that I’m not the only one anymore, and I have Mary to thank for that.

Participate, contribute, attend an event, join a committee, volunteer, submit something for one of our publications or blogs, invite another military spouse attorney to join us, let us know how we’re doing.  Send me your thoughts and comments at  I look forward to hearing from you.

We are here to serve you and our military community.

My best regards,

Rachel Winkler