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The FILIS Four: Marla Williams

All of WWP’s programs align with FILIS values, but Marla Williams helps ensure OO calls are an integral part of connecting, serving, and empowering with FILIS principles in mind.


Every organization has guiding principles that unite its employees in the execution of a mission.

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is no different.

WWP crystallized its values into a single acronym that echoes throughout WWP offices all over the country: FILIS.

Service: We serve and collaborate with humility, dignity, and respect.

Integrity: We are honest, transparent, and accountable.

Loyalty: We passionately commit to our mission and to each other.

Innovation: We have the courage to challenge the status quo and vigorously debate ideas in the pursuit of excellence.

Fun: We cultivate joy and belonging within our team and in our service to others.

There’s another way to spell FILIS: “warriors first.”

It’s more than robotic memorization or being able to say them on command. It’s a complete understanding of these values that deepens the connection to the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

FILIS not only unifies WWP teammates in the service of warriors, caregivers, and families, it’s also the thread that drives the constant improvement of programs that connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors.

One of those programs is Operation Outreach (OO). The goal of OO is to maintain an active connection with those WWP serves to ensure they get the help they need.

OO teammate Marla Williams has been with WWP for two and half years.

“As an Operation Outreach Training Coordinator, I provide the training for our teammates to ensure our warriors and families receive a call within their birthday month,” she said.

A fun fact about OO: everyone at WWP makes these monthly calls – including WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington.

Yes. The CEO.

OO calls begin as a lighthearted surprise to celebrate a veteran or family member, but they often result in critical program referrals that can mark a turning point in a warrior’s life and get him or her to connect more meaningfully with other veterans, their communities, and WWP.

All of WWP’s programs align with FILIS values, but OO calls can be the tip of the spear when it comes to connecting, serving, and empowering with FILIS principles in mind.

In this installment of The FILIS Four – in which WWP teammates answer four questions about what FILIS means to them – Marla shares how FILIS values impact her personal life and professional role.

1. The FILIS value that resonates with Marla personally is…

“Integrity,” she said without hesitation. “I believe integrity and authenticity go hand in hand. You have to be true to yourself and accept who you are before anyone else does.”

According to Marla, integrity starts with a strong sense of self-worth and pride in identity, which reveals your personal truth to the world. It is that transparency that allows us to embody this value in a deeply personal way. “Walking in integrity becomes easy because you have nothing to hide,” Marla said. “I think this explains why integrity is one of Wounded Warrior Project’s core values.”

2. The FILIS value Marla uses most at work to connect, serve, and empower warriors is…

Service. “You might not think a simple call for your birthday is a big deal – until you don’t get the call,” Marla said. “As a service to our warriors and families, making this call is an opportunity to say hello, and hopefully, provide a smile.”

It’s true. Any WWP teammate can attest to how hearing the excitement in the voices of veterans and families on these special birthday calls not only helps them, but can also add an extra dose of joy to a WWP teammate’s day. Connection with warriors and families in this unique way is the perfect daily mission reminder.

3. WWP teammates are always on the hunt for new ways to flex their FILIS muscles. The FILIS value Marla is striving to use more of is…

Innovation. For Marla, the definition is plain: “Innovation is the opportunity to be creative.” In Marla’s role, creativity means producing opportunities for OO e-learning and enhancing warrior engagement.

4. The FILIS Four Bonus Round: Which FILIS value would Marla like to see more of in the world?

Fun – and her philosophy is simple: “Eat the dessert first!”

Words to live by, Marla!

WWP teammates take great care to ensure veterans know they are not forgotten. Fun means teammates don’t keep the joy to themselves while being passionately invested in a mission that can feel like a calling. Fulfilled teammates translate into responsiveness to a population that deserves enthusiasm woven into honoring their sacrifices.

Warriors first. Always. It’s very the least of what all of us can offer them

The FILIS principles anchor the actions of WWP teammates so the promise of connecting, serving, and empowering is always at the forefront.


About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at




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