Challenges Faced by Military Families
- Because of reassignments, known as PCS (permanent change of station), military families move much more frequently than their civilian counterparts.
- Nearly 1 million, or 43%, of military personnel are parents.
- The average military child will attend between six and nine schools in grades K-12.
- Wives of military personnel are less likely to be employed than wives of civilians.
- Frequent moves and family separations pose financial difficulties.
- More than half of enlisted personnel report financial difficulties and struggles to pay bills.
- Families of Reserve and Guard members do not typically have the same support system or resources available to Active Duty members because they are geographically dispersed and do not typically live near a major military installation.
The military emphasizes strength, courage and bravery, which can make it difficult for service men and women to feel comfortable asking for help.
- The military consists of four branches: Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines.
- There are Active Duty military members and Reserve members.
- All of the U.S. military services have both active duty and reserve components. To the active duty (AD) service member, the military is a full time job. Members of the Reserves typically have another job in addition to their Reserve obligation.
- The National Guard is a unique component of the military reserves. Simply put, the National Guard is a state militia. The Governor of the state in which they enlist and serve commands the state’s National Guard members. Only the Army and Air Force have a National Guard component.
- All U.S. military services follow the same general structure of ranks and responsibilities for enlisted personnel, noncommissioned officers, and commissioned officers.
- Enlisted personnel provide the “skilled blue collar” and technical support for the military, much as “blue collar” workers do to the civilian work force in America. Enlisted personnel represent 90% of military forces.
- Commissioned Officers are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. They are the managers of the military services, although in contrast to civilian occupations, officers are legally obligated to serve as leaders and are held accountable for this additional responsibility.
- The military has a fraternization policy, which prohibits personal and business relationships among officer and enlisted service members. Although it has most commonly been applied to officer-enlisted relationships, fraternization also includes improper relationships and social interaction between officer members as well as between enlisted members. This policy doesn’t apply to spouses, yet their friendships can still be influenced by it.
- Military personnel are legally available for duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.