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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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Strengthening the

MILITARY FAMILY
READINESS SYSTEM

for a Changing American Society

Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families

Kenneth W. Kizer and Suzanne Le Menestrel, Editors

Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

A Consensus Study Report of

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by a contract awarded to the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through Basic Ordering Agreement No. HHSP233201400020B, Task Order No. HHSP23337071. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-48953-9
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-48953-9
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019947790
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25380.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
×

COMMITTEE ON THE WELL-BEING OF MILITARY FAMILIES

KENNETH W. KIZER, (Chair), School of Medicine, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and Institute for Population Health Improvement, UC Davis Health, University of California, Davis

DAVID ALBRIGHT, The University of Alabama School of Social Work

STEPHEN J. COZZA, U.S. Army (retired), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

ELLEN DEVOE, Boston University School of Social Work

ABIGAIL GEWIRTZ, Institute of Child Development and Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health, University of Minnesota

MARY M. KELLER, Military Child Education Coalition

PATRICIA LESTER, University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

SHELLEY MacDERMID WADSWORTH, Military Family Research Institute, Purdue University

LAURA L. MILLER, RAND Corporation

TRACY NEAL-WALDEN, U.S. Air Force (retired), Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals

DANIEL F. PERKINS, Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness, The Pennsylvania State University

ASHISH S. VAZIRANI, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Military Family Association

IVAN C. A. WALKS, Ivan Walks & Associates

SUZANNE LE MENESTREL, Study Director

DAVID BUTLER, Scholar, Director, Office of Military and Veterans Health

SHEILA MOATS, Program Officer (February–June 2018)

PRIYANKA NALAMADA, Associate Program Officer (July 2018–present)

STACEY SMIT, Senior Program Assistant

JUDITH JONES, Archer Fellow (May–August 2018)

LAURA MINERO, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow (January–April 2019)

SUNDONIA WILLIAMS WONNUM, Consultant, U.S. Air Force

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
×

BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES

ANGELA DIAZ (Chair), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

DAVID V. B. BRITT (Co-Chair), Sesame Workshop (retired)

HAROLYN BELCHER, Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

RICHARD F. CATALANO, University of Washington School of Social Work

DIMITRI CHRISTAKIS, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, University of Washington

JEFFREY W. HUTCHINSON, The Wade Alliance, LLC

STEPHANIE J. MONROE, The Wrenwood Group, LLC

JAMES M. PERRIN, Harvard Medical School and MassGeneral Hospital for Children

NISHA SACHDEV, Bainum Family Foundation

DONALD F. SCHWARZ, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

MARTÍN J. SEPÚLVEDA, IBM Corporation (retired) and CLARALUZ LLC

MARTIN H. TEICHER, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital

JONATHAN TODRES, Georgia State University College of Law

NATACHA BLAIN, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
×

Acknowledgments

Supporting the well-being of military families is essential to ensuring the readiness of military personnel. Military families encompass a broad spectrum of American society and have diverse needs that have materially changed in recent years. In an effort to make sure its efforts to support military families are addressing their needs in a rapidly changing American society, the U.S. Department of Defense asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to study the challenges and opportunities facing military families and what is known about effective strategies for supporting and protecting military children and families, as well as lessons to be learned from these experiences. The National Academies appointed the Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families in 2017 to address this charge. The committee thanks the sponsor of this study, the Office of Military Community and Family Policy, U.S. Department of Defense, for their support of the committee’s activities.

This report would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. Special thanks go to the members of the committee who dedicated extensive time, expertise, and energy to the drafting of the report. The committee also thanks the members of the National Academies staff for their significant contributions to the report: Suzanne Le Menestrel, Priyanka Nalamada, David Butler, and Sheila Moats. Stacey Smit provided key administrative and logistical support and made sure that committee meetings ran smoothly.

The committee is also grateful to Anthony Bryant, Faye Hillman, and Lisa Alston for their administrative and financial assistance. From the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Office of Reports

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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and Communication, Kirsten Sampson Snyder, Viola Horek, Patricia L. Morison, Douglas Sprunger, and Yvonne Wise guided the report through the review and production process and assisted with its communication and dissemination. The committee also thanks the National Academies Press staff, Clair Woolley, Holly Sten, Autumn Rose, and Barbara Murphy for their assistance with the production of the final report; Daniel Bearss and Rebecca Morgan in the National Academies research library for their assistance with fact checking and literature searches; and the report’s editor, Marc DeFrancis, for his expert editing. Finally, throughout the project, Natacha Blain, director of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, together with Mary Ellen O’Connell and Monica Feit, provided helpful oversight.

Many individuals volunteered significant time and effort to address and educate the committee during our public information session. Their perspectives and personal experiences were essential to the committee’s work. We thank Ashley Broadway-Mack, president, The American Military Partner Association; Karen Ruedisueli, government relations deputy director, National Military Family Association; Chaplain (COL) Jimmy Nichols, installation command chaplain, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Edward Tyner, associate director, Office of Family Readiness/Office of Special Needs, U.S. Department of Defense; Kelly Hokanson, spouse of National Guard Bureau Vice Chief (LTG) Daniel R. Hokanson; Jill Marconi, director, Airman and Family Readiness, U.S. Air Force; Susan Lukas, director, Legislation & Military Policy, Reserve Officer’s Association; Anthony A. Wickham, J1 program director, National Guard Bureau; Col. (Ret) Anthony Cox, Army, former manager, HQDA Family Advocacy Program; Ellyn Dunford, spouse of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Elka Franco-Giordano, Chief of Naval Operations OMBUDSMAN-at-Large and spouse of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven S. Giordano; and Donald R. Neff, United States Special Operations Command.

The committee also appreciates the contributions of Sarah Beehler (University of Minnesota), David Chambers (National Cancer Institute), Schelomo Marmor (University of Minnesota), Lisa Militello (The Ohio State University), Nathaniel Mohatt (University of Colorado, Denver), Inbal Nahum-Shani (University of Michigan), Wynne Norton (National Cancer Institute), and Barbara Thompson (U.S. Department of Defense, retired) for their valuable commissioned papers, which informed our report. We would also like to extend our gratitude to our unpaid consultants, Diana Timba (University of Minnesota) and Sundonia Williams-Wonnum (U.S. Air Force) and our graduate fellows Laura Minero and Judith Jones. Many individuals also submitted memos for the committee’s consideration; a listing of these individuals can be found in Appendix C in this report.

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
×

this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Nicholas J. Armstrong, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University; Ron Avi Astor, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California; Kelly Blasko, Connected Health Branch, Defense Health Agency; Kenneth A. Dodge, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University; Richard Fabes, School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University; Eric M. Flake, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, Madigan Army Medical Center; Stacy A. Hawkins, Research Facilitation Laboratory, Army Analytics Group; Jay A. Mancini, Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia; Ann S. Masten, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Sarah O. Meadows, Pardee RAND Graduate School, RAND Corporation; Lyndon A. Riviere, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; and Jonathan Woodson, Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy, Boston University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dan G. Blazer, Duke University Medical Center, and Bradford H. Gray, The Urban Institute (retired). They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

Kenneth W. Kizer, Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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4-3 Examples of Prominent Themes Associated with Geographic Assignment and Relocation

4-4 Examples of Prominent Themes Associated with Deployments, Sea Duty, and Training Exercises Away from Home

4-5 Examples of Prominent Themes Specific to Members of the National Guard and Reserves

4-6 Examples of Prominent Themes Associated with Diversity and Inclusion

4-7 Examples of Prominent Themes Associated with Transition from Military to Civilian Life

6-1 Family-Strengthening Goals to Promote Family Resilience and Well-Being

7-1 Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness: Major Criteria for Program Placements on the Continuum of Evidence

7-2 Community Engagement and Community Participatory Research

7-3 Military Family Voices

8-1 Applying a System-Level Approach: The Building Capacity Consortium

8-2 Adapting a Program Sunsetting: The Joint Family Support Assistance Program

8-3 Just-In-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs): An Example

FIGURES

1-1 All family relationships are interdependent

2-1 Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of development

3-1 Distribution of service members, by service and component

3-2 Service members’ age (percent distribution)

3-3 Service members’ race (percent distribution)

3-4 Service members who are women, by service and component

3-5 Family status of all service members (percent distribution)

3-6 Family status of active and reserve component service members (percent distribution)

3-7 Ages of military spouses (percent distribution)

3-8 Employment status of active and reserve component spouses (percent distribution)

3-9 Ages of children in military families (percent distribution)

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25380.
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The U.S. military has been continuously engaged in foreign conflicts for over two decades. The strains that these deployments, the associated increases in operational tempo, and the general challenges of military life affect not only service members but also the people who depend on them and who support them as they support the nation – their families.

Family members provide support to service members while they serve or when they have difficulties; family problems can interfere with the ability of service members to deploy or remain in theater; and family members are central influences on whether members continue to serve. In addition, rising family diversity and complexity will likely increase the difficulty of creating military policies, programs and practices that adequately support families in the performance of military duties.

Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society examines the challenges and opportunities facing military families and what is known about effective strategies for supporting and protecting military children and families, as well as lessons to be learned from these experiences. This report offers recommendations regarding what is needed to strengthen the support system for military families.

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