The United States military is the finest fighting force in the world, ready to deploy anywhere within 48-hour notice. A combat-ready unit cannot operate without logistics, communications, and of course, family support. While they don’t wear uniforms, military spouses are fundamental in keeping our forces domestic and abroad focused, supported, and ready to go.
Here are 3 reasons why military spouses are critical to the success of the military.
MilSpouses have the home front handled while you deploy
When our troops deploy overseas, military spouses don’t just sit around waiting to see what’s new on Netflix. Months before deployments start, military spouses form a Family Readiness Group, commonly known as an FRG. Though FRGs operate differently based on the branch of service and individual unit needs, this is a typical list of their responsibilities:
- Providing family members updates on the deployed unit’s assignments.
- Assisting families of the unit to handle and solve any and all problems that arise while their spouse, father, mother, or sibling is deployed.
- Holding events to keep the families together and resilient during tough times. It can be months without word from a deployed unit and having that network of support is crucial to everyone’s well being.
It’s important to note that FRGs are almost entirely comprised of volunteers and wouldn’t exist without them. When I was deployed to Iraq in 2009, I was involved in a small vehicle accident with no injuries. In less than 24 hours, rumors had spread back home that we were attacked and had casualties. Our FRG immediately dispelled the rumors with real-time information from our command and allowed our family members to sleep better.
They bridge the gap between civilian and military through service and entrepreneurship
It’s not just during deployments that military spouses step up; They’re always serving. Many get involved in causes advocating for military reform that aim to improve the lives of service members. Others launch businesses focused on giving back to their communities, like the following:
- Operation Deploy Your Dress - Founded as a non-profit by Yvonne Coombes, Armed Forces Insurance 2020 Military Spouse of the Year, Operation Deploy Your Dress collects gently used dresses and distributes them to military spouses and service members for free. This significantly offsets the cost of attending military galas and educates civilians on one of the many unique needs of the military community.
- Manpendent - As an increasing amount of women join the military ranks, more male spouses join the community. In 2012 there were over 100,000 male spouses married to military service members. That’s why David Carrera, the 2020 Armed Forces Insurance Navy Military Spouse of the Year, launched Manpendent.com as a way for male spouses to network, support one another, and identify ways to serve their local communities.
- Stroller Warriors Club - In 2010, Stephanie Geraghty, the 2012 Marine Corps Military Spouse of the Year, founded the Stroller Warriors Club as a way for military spouses with young children to meet, release stress, and stay connected.
They are the quiet professionals on the home front
With all of the extracurriculars military spouses engage in, many do so by maintaining a quiet, professional ethos. They continue to serve because of the intrinsic good for the community, not just for a pat on the back.
While they may be too humble to brag about their accomplishments, you shouldn’t be. Task & Purpose and Armed Forces Insurance want to highlight the unsung heroes and supporters of the military community on social media with the #OurMissionIsYou campaign.
If you know of a military spouse who goes above and beyond for their community, let them know that their efforts have not gone unnoticed by celebrating and showcasing them. Find out how to highlight your military spouse here.