(U.S. Army/Scott Sturkol)

The results of a new Army housing survey show that the overall satisfaction with privatized on-base housing among military families has decreased across the service by almost 6% in 2019.

The report attributes the overall decline to "a combination of growing dissatisfaction coupled with a downward trend in overall resident sentiment upon learning that other residents had similar or greater issues."

The report also attributes to the decline in resident sentiment to "[m]edia reports and cited partner profits."

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(U.S. Coast Guard/Chief Photographer's Mate Robert F. Sargent)

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

I can still recall the exhilaration I felt in the reading room of the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

It was mid-April 2009. I was scrolling through roll after microfilm roll of the War Department's “ Opinion Surveys Relating to the Morale of U.S. Army Personnel."

What I had discovered were tens of thousands of statements written by World War II American soldiers about their military experiences. Not only were they uncensored, but they were also composed during the conflict – not afterward, from re-created memories.

A postdoctoral fellow at the time in modern U.S. history, I felt confident that no other collection of WWII records compared to what had been saved on these unreproduced 44 microfilm rolls. Neither had I ever seen these documents used in any history of WWII.

I had just discovered a historian's gold mine.

If only the public had access to these, I thought to myself.

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(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alexandria Crawford)

A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.

The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."

Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.

What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.

"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."

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In news that will shock no one, service members and veterans are less than thrilled that the United States is still embroiled in conflicts — or "advise and assist" missions, to use Pentagon parlance — in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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