Marissa A. Cruz is a communications consultant, Navy Reserve Public Affairs Officer and part-time graduate student in Johns Hopkins University's master's in writing program. Cruz holds a B.A. in political science from Brown University where she also studied international relations. Following her passion for international affairs and communications, Cruz received a master's in public diplomacy from the University of Southern California. When not reading or writing, she enjoys running.
A 2013 Defense Department survey has resurfaced with regard to the future of military recruitment. A March 10 TIME article focused on concerns that the military as a “family business” will face an eventual decline.
Recently there has been an increased recognition of the importance of family resilience, particularly in support of military children, yet there is no Department of Defense-wide definition of family resilience. Military families face a number of unique challenges, from deployments to frequent moves and separations, on top of the regular stresses of civilian life. While many families successfully navigate these challenges, their success doesn’t negate the need for a common approach to supporting family resilience. Without a comprehensive, uniform definition, it is challenging to make measurable progress and provide assistance to those families that may be having a more difficult time.
The U.S. military offers incomparable benefits to those who choose to serve — paid health insurance and housing, job security, and tuition assistance to name a few — however, when it comes to financial planning, service members are left largely in the dark.
On July 2, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced a sweeping change to the maternity leave policy for female sailors and Marines, extending paid maternity leave from six to 18 weeks during the first year following a child’s birth. The change is significant in that it shows dedication to retaining women in the force, and just as important, to recruiting women in the first place.