Tawanda "Tee" Marie Hanible

Combat Veteran, Author, and Activist

"Moral courage is the highest expression of humanity. Our commitment to defend did not end when we took off the uniform. #MarchOn Veterans!"~Tee Marie Hanible, Twitter, July 16, 2017

Gunnery Sergeant Tawanda "Tee" Marie Hanible retired from the Marine Corps in 2016 after serving for almost twenty years. Born in Chicago, raised in foster care, and eventually adopted by foster parents Minnie and William Hudson, Hanible credits the Marine Corps with changing her life. Her older brother was recruited into the Marine Corps and became a Lance Corporal.

Although he initially dissuaded her from joining, she decided that the challenge was exactly what she was seeking. She enlisted in 1996 and deployed as the only woman in one of the first units in Iraq in 2003. After serving in combat, she became a Military Recruiter, Legal Chief, Operations Chief, and Marine Corps Diversity Chief. In 2011, she founded the non-profit Operation Heroes Connect to pair veterans as full-time mentors for at-risk youth.

In 2012, she was honored by President Barack Obama for her work on active duty as well as her off-duty community service. After retirement, Hanible became a television star, working with John Cena as the only military female expert on the Fox network's "American Grit." Leveraging her fame, she started a clothing company called Gritty Apparel and co-starred in the LIfetime documentary "What I Signed Up for." In 2019, she published her first book, The Warrior Code: 11 Principles to Unleash the Badass Inside of You.

Political activism is part of Hanible's identity as a veteran. In 2016, she served as the National Veteran's Chair for the Women's March, which drew around 250,000 people to Washington and involved more than four million people around the world. Hanible also founded "Veterans for Kaepernick," a movement against racism and racial injustice.