STEPHEN DAVIS: Study reveals military families losing faith in the army

A recent study conducted by Blue Star Families has unveiled concerning trends regarding military families’ attitudes toward recommending military service.

Shockingly, only one-third of military families would advise others to pursue a career in the armed forces. This low-response rate is a staggering 40% decrease compared to statistics from 2016.

The study, highlighted by Military.com, explains the significant decline in endorsement for military service among active duty military families over the past few years. In 2016, 55% of such families recommended military service. In 2023, that number stood at a modest 32%.

The findings shed light on the pressing issues that military families face on a day-to-day basis. The top issues among respondents were revealed to be military spouse employment and time away from family. 

However, there were also economic factors in the responses. Financial strains, particularly pertaining to military pay and housing expenses, also weigh heavily on the minds of military families.

“According to the Blue Star survey, 73% of active duty-affiliated respondents were paying more than $200 a month out-of-pocket for civilian housing options, and 48% of active-duty families noted they had financial stress stemming from general housing costs,” Military.com reported.

Jessica Strong, Senior Director of Applied Research at Blue Star Families, emphasized the critical need to address these persistent quality-of-life issues. She noted “This data shows that persistent quality-of-life issues such as spouse unemployment, limited child care, housing costs, and health care barriers impact military families’ desire to continue their family tradition of service,” 

“Military families are the most critical untapped potential to solve the national recruiting crisis. To save the All-Volunteer Force, we have to address military families’ concerns and stories they shared with us through this research,” she continued. 

Another unnamed factor in military families’ increasingly hesitant to recommend military service is the increase of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives being pushed by the Pentagon. These initiatives, aimed at fostering a more “inclusive” military environment, have sparked debates about whether the U.S. military has become unaligned with its longstanding principles.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

Photo from Canva.


Image: Title: military families
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