San Diego is home to the largest concentration of military personnel in the country with more than 100,000 active-duty servicemembers assigned to hundreds of units throughout the region. There are also nearly 250,000 military veterans living in the county.

San Diego is still a Navy and Marine Corps town.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, a long-time supporter of the men and women in uniform, held a press conference on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum in  November 2021 to announce the formation of his new Military, Veteran and Families Advisory Council with the goal of making San Diego the most welcoming city in the nation for the military, veterans and their families.

“I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our city and our administration cultivates a supportive environment to help those who serve and have served,” said Todd. “Our military servicemembers and veterans, along with their families, are intrinsic to the fabric of San Diego. It’s a huge part of who we are as a city and region.”

The new advisory council is tasked with reviewing the city’s policies and procedures, and to propose new opportunities on connecting, mobilizing and empowering the San Diego veteran and military communities.

“The council will work to provide the city with a list of recommendations,” said Todd. “This is a group that’s going to deliver.”

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Jody Breckenridge, who is currently the chair of the California Governor’s Military Council, strongly supports the establishment of San Diego’s new military advisory group.

“I applaud Mayor Gloria’s initiative creating the Military, Veteran and Families Advisory Council which recognizes the integral role the military plays in San Diego,” said Jody, the former commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area who retired in 2010. “Our council looks forward to working with the mayor and the advisory council to address issues, innovate and leverage opportunities.”

The mayor’s advisory council is a diverse group spanning the continuum of lived experiences. Members include veterans from each of the service branches, as well as blend of different races and genders.

“I’m proud of the diversity of this group,” said Todd.

The mayor felt the USS Midway Museum was the perfect location to announce the formation of his new military advisory council.

“I want to thank my friends at the Midway for hosting us,” said Todd. “I couldn’t make this announcement anywhere but the Midway. It’s a wonderful San Diego institution.”

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