Military and Veterans Affairs

The Military and Veterans Affairs Committee provides policymakers with a forum to share and discuss issue-based solutions uniquely related to military members, veterans, and their families. The committee also serves as a vehicle to build regional consensus that fortifies the ongoing cooperative federal–state relationship designed to improve the overall health and well-being of the members of the military and veterans communities.

Committee Leadership

Headshot of Earl G. Jaques, Jr.
Earl G. Jaques, Jr.
Representative, Delaware
After graduating from William Penn High School, Earl enlisted in the Delaware Air National Guard, where he served his state and country for more than 36 years. He rose through the ranks in numerous key leadership positions, culminating as the
full-time Chief of Staff at the Delaware Air National Guard Headquarters. In this position, he acted on behalf of the Adjutant General in the administration, training and operation of all Air National Guard (ANG) units within the state. He also served as the principal representative and spokesperson for the Delaware Air National Guard and as the senior manager for major statewide programs that were conducted under the Department of Military Affairs. In 1996, he assumed the additional position as the Delaware National Guard Legislative Liaison Officer and authored numerous pieces of legislation that were enacted into law. In November 2008, Earl was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives for the 27th District. He is currently chair of the House Education and Veteran Affairs committees, and serves on the Joint Finance Committee and Appropriations Committee. As chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee, he continually authors numerous pieces of legislation to assist veterans and National Guard personnel. Representative Jaques has received numerous awards from various organizations to include: Humane Society of the United States, Delaware State Education Association, Delaware MS Society, Charter School Network, National Guard Association of Delaware, and became an Honorary Member of the Delaware City Fire Company. He is a 2018 recipient of the Charles Dick Medal of Merit from the National Guard Association of the United States. Recently, he was appointed as a member of the prestigious Southern Regional Education Board. In 2013, Earl was inducted into the Robert Kirkwood Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolutions with ancestors who fought in the battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and White Plains and also participated in the Boston Tea Party.
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Headshot Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson
Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson
Representative, Rhode Island
Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D) represents District 21 in Warwick. She was first elected in November 2016. She is the first vice chairwoman of the House Committee on Conduct and she is a member of the House Committee on Finance, the
House Committee on Judiciary, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the House Committee on Rules. Also in 2018, she graduated from the Eastern Leadership Academy, a fellowship program designed to enhance the leadership abilities of state officials from all three branches of government. The fellowship took place at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Before being elected state representative, Vella-Wilkinson served three terms on the Warwick City Council, from 2011 to 2016, with two terms as finance chairwoman. She was state commissioner on the Rhode Island Commission for Human Relations from 1999 to 2016. She has also served as the City of Warwick Veterans liaison from 2011 to 2016. In 2016, she was honored with the Legislator of the Year award from the Disabled American Veterans, the YMCA Woman of Achievement award and the American Legion Post 43 Auxiliary Female Veteran of the Year award. She is an alumna of the URI Schmidt Labor Research Center and Leadership Rhode Island (2006), a member of American Legion Post 43, Military Officers Association of America and St. Benedict’s Daughters of Isabella Circle 423. A retired Navy officer, she is self-employed as a work-readiness coach. She graduated from St. Edmund High School in Brooklyn in 1974. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Long Island University in 1979. She received her master’s degree in labor relations from the University of Rhode Island and juris doctor degree from Roger Williams University in 2006.
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For more information on the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, please contact staff liaison

Debbie-Ann Paige
direct: 646-383-5753