WASHINGTON — A top aide to Jill Biden for a decade who oversaw the first lady’s initiative to support military service members and their families is stepping down later this month, NBC News has learned.
Rory Brosius will be replaced as executive director of Joining Forces by Sheila Casey, the wife of former Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and the former chairwoman of Blue Star Families.
“As a young military spouse walking into the East Wing to intern for Joining Forces in August of 2012 to joining the Biden-Harris Administration on day one to stand up Joining Forces, this has been the journey of a lifetime,” Brosius said in a message sent to the military community she’s worked with announcing her departure.
Joining Forces was launched in 2011 by Biden and Michelle Obama, who was first lady at the time, as a way of convening the public and private sector with members of the military, their families and veterans, and to support them with educational and employment resources.
Biden revived the initiative when she became first lady in 2021, tapping Brosius to serve as director.
In an interview, Brosius said that while the overall mission remained the same, they were able to redouble efforts to support military families in particular, recognizing that while significant government resources are available for service members and veterans, military spouses and children also have unique needs.
It’s especially important to spotlight these needs at a time when the U.S. is no longer engaged in an active military conflict, with President Joe Biden having removed what was left of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan in 2021.
“The challenges that many military families face, along with veteran families, are not a function of war. They’re a function of the military lifestyle,” Brosius said in the interview. “They’re a function of moving every two to three years. They’re a function of high operational tempo regardless of whether we’re in direct combat missions, or just doing seven month deployments on a ship.”
In a statement to NBC News, Jill Biden praised Brosius for leading Joining Forces “with grace, compassion and determination to support America’s military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors.”
“Rory has done an extraordinary job as Executive Director, doing the hard policy work that matters. Joe and I are grateful for her dedication over the last ten years,” she said.