The Mva Board of Directors is known as the Management COuncil
all mva positions are unpaId voLunteers
Chairman of the Board - John B. Wells
(also serves as Treasurer)
Attorney John B. Wells is a retired Navy Commander (Surface Warfare) and a disabled veteran, who served from 1972 until 1994. He was assigned to six ships and several shore commands. He is qualified in all aspects of surface warfare including command at sea. He is a graduate of the Surface Warfare Officers School Department Head and PXO schools. Mr. Wells served as a Special-Court Martial convening authority, member, senior member, and witness before administrative boards and courts-martial. He has administered non-judicial punishment under Art. 15 of the UCMJ.
Mr. Wells attended law school at night while still on active duty. He was a member of the Law Review Staff and contributed to several law school publications. Upon retirement from the military, Mr. Wells settled in Slidell, Louisiana and opened a general law practice that emphasizes military and veterans law. Mr. Wells has represented military members and veterans throughout the country. He is at home in both state and federal courts and travels often to Washington, D.C. for cases there.
Commander Wells was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in November of 1994, the Supreme Court of Louisiana in October of 1995, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in April of 1996. He is also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition, Mr. Wells is admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Federal, and District of Columbia Circuits. He is also a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and all service courts. He is admitted to practice before the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Mr. Wells is also admitted to many federal district courts including the District of Columbia.
Mr. Wells is married to Janice Burton Wells of Perth Australia and has two daughters, five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He has spoken before numerous groups on military and veterans issues. He is also a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel.
Chief of Staff/Director, Blue Water Navy - Mike Yates
Mike Yates is a former Navy petty officer who serves as the MVA Chief of Staff and the Blue Water Navy Section Chief. He also served as Executive Director/National Commander of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association and has been active in the movement to gain benefits for Blue Water sailors. Mike suffers from diseases associated with exposure to herbicides.
Board Member at Large - Robin Hood
Director of Litigation - Brian Lewis
Director of Research - Richard Elliott
Richard served in the United States Naval Submarine force. He qualified in submarines while off the coast of Vietnam during the war. He is a member of the Holland Club, which is for Submariners with over 50 years of qualifications in submarines.
Richard and his wife Linda live in Arkansas and Texas. They enjoy travel and spending time with family and friends.
Board Member at Large - Jay Cole
Jay is former Air Force and an At Large member of the Board of Directors
Board Member at Large - Rob Maness
Rob is owner of Iron Liberty Group LLC, a former US Senate Candidate in Louisiana, and GatorPAC.com Chairman. He is also active in grassroots policy advocacy, among them criminal justice reform, and veteran policies.
He graduated from the US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal School in January of 1980 and served in three assignments countering terrorist bomb makers before being selected for Officer and Flight training in 1985. Rob served on the Joint Staff, commanded the oldest bomber squadron in the Air Force, and the sixth largest installation in the world before retiring from active duty in December of 2011, having served in uniform for more than 32 years.
During his military service, Colonel Maness led numerous combat flying operations, including Operations Just Cause and Desert Storm, and as a bomber squadron commander in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. As an Operations Officer, he was on duty in the National Military Command Center during the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. Colonel Maness became one of twelve handpicked members of the Future Operations Group created in response and directly assisted the United States national security team with creating, synchronizing, and executing the campaign plan for the global war on terrorism. His combat decorations include the Bronze Star and Air Medal.
Rob broadened his experience after his military career working for Entergy Corp. in the energy industry. He served as the Director of Safety and Training for an operation that covered a 5 state area, included nuclear, coal, natural gas, and hydro power generation. He was responsible for system safety during national emergencies such as hurricane recovery operations. Rob started his own small business after leaving Entergy Corp., Iron Liberty Group LLC, which operates in the digital publishing, social media, and broadcasting space. Additionally, the Group provides consulting services in organizational leadership, physical and personal security, safety, and human performance areas of expertise. Rob is a Contributor and Television Host at LifeZette.com and has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, and CNN. As an author, he is published in The Washington Times, Breitbart News, OpsLens, and Human Events.
Colonel Maness is a founding Board Member at Military Advocacy Project of Louisiana, Inc., a veteran's advocacy group committed to preventing veteran suicides and ensuring military families have equal access to benefits. He also serves as a Board Advisor to the Baton Rouge - based school literacy non-profit, WGI, Inc.
Colonel Maness is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Cum Laude, and holds three Masters degrees from:
Harvard University's Kennedy School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the US College of Naval Warfare. He is married to the former Candy Smith of Gosport, Indiana and they have five children, including three military sons (former US Navy and US Army National Guard, active US Air Force), and five grandchildren.
Vice-Chairman Sgt. Major Jim Kuiken, USMC - Retired
Jim Kuiken is a highly successful former business executive, political candidate, international diplomat, law enforcement officer/agent, Director with Homeland Security, and retired multi-war combat wounded Marine. His long and distinguished career in national service and private industry exemplifies his commitment to this country, it's security, and the free-market economic engine it was founded on.
Now, as an Author and Public Speaker, his experiences as a young combat ‘grunt’ who moved up the ladder to become one of the most senior enlisted leaders in the Marine Corps, as a state and local law enforcement officer, a firefighter/EMT, a Border Patrol Agent, a federal Special Agent, and ultimately a Director with the Department of Homeland Security give him the ‘boots on the ground’ real-world perspective.
As an internationally recognized authority in law enforcement/first responder, homeland security, military and intelligence operations, Jim’s first-hand subject matter expertise is evident as an author with his knowledgeable down-to-earth writing; as well as making him a highly sought after speaker with his relaxed, personable but effective public speaking style.
Legislative Director - Ernest R. Dillard Jr. Ernest.Dillard@mvadvocacy.org
Ernest is a disabled veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps. He served from 1973 till 1975. Served in Okinawa 1974 till 1975. In 1975 was involved with Operation New Life the evacuation of Vietnam. He served at camp Pendleton and help with the in processing with the refugees.
Ernest then went in the Army and served 1975 till 1987 when he was discharge due to his disabilities. While serving in the Army, he spent 6 years in Europe.
Ernest lives in Indiana and is married to a German. They have four children and four grandchildren and two Great Grandchildren.
Secretary of the Board - Michael Kvintus
Mike is a disabled former Navy Petty Officer and serves as membership director and Secretary to the Board. He is vice-Chief of the BWN section.
Director of Social Media - Tom Walden
Tom is a 100% disabled former Navy sailor and a retired Merchant Marine Captain. Tom is the interim Director of the Panama Canal Zone Section.
Director, Veterans of Southeast Asia - William Rhodes
Bill joined the United States Marine Corps in 1968. He served at various locations in the United States, Japan, and Thailand attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). He is the Director of the Veterans of Southeast Asia Section.
Upon leaving the Marines, Bill worked industrial maintenance for various companies until he was forced to retire for medical reasons. He stumbled upon information that pointed out the health issues that caused his forced retirement were caused from Toxins in herbicides used by the Military. After filing a claim with the Veterans Administration for service-connected disability, and being denied multiple times, he began researching the use of herbicides by the Military.
Bill obtained multiple official government documents, read the law and regulations governing the Veterans Administration, and discovered multiple discrepancies that needed to be addressed. He realized these discrepencies affected hundreds of thousands of Veterans. Bill was able to get Senator John Boozman (AR) and Representative Bruce Westerman (AR) to introduce legislation to correct the discrepancies.
Bill, along with 5 other veterans from all branches of service participated in a television interview that drew national recognition to these discrepancies.
In January of 2020, Bill became a member of Military-Veterans Advocacy and the Director of Veterans of Southeast Asia.
Director, Veterans of Okinawa - Jerry Balmes
Jerry is a former Marine who served on Okinawa in 1971. He is the Director of the Veterans of Okinawa section. Jerry has been married to his wife, Vivian, since 1975 and they have 3 children. He lives in a Military Veterans Community in Northern Michigan called Camp Curnalia. He spends his winters near Port Charlotte, Florida.
Director, Agent Orange Survivors of Guam - Brian Moyer
Brian Moyer enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1973 and after Basic recruit Training at MCRD, San Diego, California was sent to Infantry Training School at San Onofre, Camp Pendleton, California. Then it was on to Sea Duty Indoctrination School for more training with regards to living aboard ship and other responsibilities, which was a two year duty assignment. Brian was assigned to Marine Detachment USS Proteus AS-19 which was a Submarine Tender. He arrived on Guam in February 1974 and departed in February 1976.
The USS Proteus was homeported at Polaris Point, Apra Harbor, Guam. In 1975, all military personnel stationed on Guam were involved in Operation New Life which was part of the "Evacuation of Vietnam." Brian personally witnessed herbicide spraying take place on many occasions at Polaris Point where he and fellow Marines and Sailors of the Proteus trained, played baseball, football and other activities at the above location.
Brian also drank contaminated water from a water cooler while at the Andersen Air Force Base Fire Fighting School with Sgt. Major James Kuiken in June of 1974. He discharged from the Marine Corps in 1977. Brian and his family moved to Florida after his retirement from law enforcement. After arriving in Florida in 2015, Brian found out about the use of Agent Orange on Guam and the rest is history, including a return trip to Guam in October at the request of the US and Guam EPA which resulted in dramatic soil test results!