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NEWS | July 8, 2022

Slater receives Trail Blazer Award at 2022 Virginia Women Veterans Summit

By Staff Reports

Retired Sgt. Maj. Jacqueline R. Slater, a current federal civilian employee working in the Virginia National Guard Human Resources Office, was recognized with the Trail Blazer Award at the 2022 Virginia Women Veterans Summit held June 15, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia. Hosted by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services in partnership with the Virginia Employment Commission, the Summit featured more than 200 women veterans, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and other participants taking part in a full day of inspiring speeches and panel discussions on topics of interest to Virginia’s more than 109,000 women veterans.
Slater served in the Virginia Army National Guard for more than 32 years specializing in human resources. According to the DVS news release, she was honored for her leadership in leading, guiding, and coaching her fellow Soldiers, both male and female, to help them fulfill their important missions and she continues to serve as a resource for veterans to assure they receive the benefits they earned from their service.
Retired Brig. Gen. Walt Mercer, the Virginia Department of Military Affairs Chief Operating Officer, nominated Slater for the award.
“Jackie Slater served with me for years, and I saw personally how she mentored and helped younger women to grow and excel as women in the military,” Mercer said. “Her leadership and willingness to take care of her fellow female veterans has had such a positive impact on many in our formation, and that is something that she can be very proud of. We are very proud of Ms. Slater for all she has done for our women vets, and it was an honor to see her recognized for her hard work and dedicated service.”
Daniel Gade, Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, presented Slater with the award, along with Mercer and current Virginia Army National Guard G1 Personnel Officer Col. Jennifer Martin.
The DVS news release stated the award presentations given in recognition of exceptional women veterans who have worked to help their fellow women veterans are a highlight of each annual Virginia Women Veterans Summit. In addition to the award presented to Slater, Marine Corps veteran Dr. Hendricks-Thomas was honored with the Change Maker Award for her work on promoting mental health for service members and military veterans in her role as a behavioral health researcher.  The award was given to her in memoriam as she passed away in April 2022 at age 42.
Highlights of the 2022 Virginia Veterans Women Summit can be viewed online at

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