Sheri Swokowski

Dr. Sheri A. Swokowski joined the ACLU of Wisconsin Board of Directors in 2015.

Sheri Swokowski is a retired Army Colonel with 35 years of service. She is the senior, out,  transgender veteran in the United States.  

COL Swokowski holds a Ph.D. in Leadership for the Application of Learning and Service from Cardinal  Stritch University and a master’s degree in Management and Organizational Behavior. She is a  graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft Leavenworth, KS, and the Army War  College Strategic Defense Strategy Course, Carlisle, PA.  

Sheri is a career infantry officer, has commanded a light infantry company, deployed twice, and served on battalion, brigade, state, and Department level staffs. She retired in Dec 2004 as the J1 (Dir, Manpower,  and Personnel) for the Wisconsin National Guard.  

Post-retirement, Dr. Swokowski was a lead course instructor at the US Army Force Management School  (USAFMS) at Ft Belvoir, VA, where she was abruptly fired in 2007 when she transitioned. She went on to serve as a Senior Analyst for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (ACSIM) at the  Pentagon and as the Regional Human Resource Director for the US Forest Service in Golden, CO.  

She is an internationally known advocate for transgender rights and Trans military service. She played a  role in influencing the Department of Defense to acknowledge and recognize they had service members still serving in silence five years after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She has keynoted both military and civilian Pride events across the country. In 2015, the Dept of Defense recognized her as the first female infantry officer among the ranks when they corrected her DD 214 to reflect her authenticity.  

Dr. Swokowski has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, and Al-Jazeera. She has been published in the Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, Huffington Post, and Washington Blade. She has presented at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and World Professional Association for  Transgender Health annual conferences. She currently serves on the Advocacy Advisory Council for the  Modern Military Association of America and on the Board of Directors for the ACLU-WI.