45th Anniversary Timeline of Accomplishments


  • Military Wives Association begins


  • Survivor Benefit Plan becomes law
  • Public Health Service joins the Military Wives Association


  • NOAA joins the Military Wives Association


  • Military Wives Association changes its name to the National Military Wives Association
  • Association holds first Issues Workshop to educate families on benefits


  • Association President presents testimony before the White House Conference


  • Association testifies in favor of equitable division of military retirement pay in divorce settlements, paving the way for the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act


  • Association supports a provision to the GI Bill permitting a service member to transfer GI Bill educational benefits to a spouse or child after 10 years of service


  • Association conducts the first comprehensive survey of military spouses in Europe and publishes report with findings and recommendations
  • DoD implements many of the report's recommendations
  • Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act passes


  • National Military Wives Association changes its name to National Military Family Association
  • Association testifies in favor of increased VA benefits for survivors


  • Association receives nonprofit status and is included in the Combined Federal Campaign
  • Defense Appropriations Act includes funding for overseas student travel, a recommendation included in our 1982 European Report


  • National Military Family Association becomes the first organization to testify before a Senate subcommittee on the critical issue of health care for military families
  • Association is a founding member of The Military Coalition


  • Association's survey of families in Hawaii again leads to action on the part of DoD


  • Association testifies on in-state college tuition for members of military families
  • Association persuades the House of Representatives to defeat an Overseas Teachers Act that would have prohibited military spouses from teaching in the DoD school system
  • Congress approves the first increase to the Permanent Change of Station Household Goods Weight Allowance in 20 years—a long-time Association goal


  • Association testifies on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and secures SSI benefits extension to military families stationed overseas
  • Congress passes the Military Child Care Act


  • First funding of DoD Supplement to Impact Aid
  • Association transition plan for military affected by downsizing receives Congressional backing


  • Association proposes "Health Benefits Program for Military Beneficiaries," giving families reliable health care coverage and choices—elements of proposal are now included TRICARE program


  • Association backs DoD Domestic schools boards' fight for continued oversight role


  • First Very Important Patriot Award presented to military volunteers
  • TRICARE program begins


  • Senate designates May as National Military Appreciation Month
  • Association champions the reinstatement of DIC after dissolution of a survivor's second marriage


  • National Military Family Association publishes "Silver Bullet" on need to increase trust that Nation's leaders want to improve the quality of life for military families
  • Congress designates May as Military Appreciation Month


  • Association works to increase BAH (basic allowance for housing) and reduce military families' out-of-pocket housing expenses
  • DoD holds first Military Family Forum at the Pentagon


  • Congress passes the Family Supplemental Subsistence Allowance to assist military families on food stamps
  • Congress allows payment of Survivor Benefit Plan benefits to spouses of all service members who die in line of duty
  • Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom mark large-scale mobilization of Guard and Reserve members and beginning of war in Afghanistan following 9-11 attacks in New York and the Pentagon


  • Association briefs Reserve Forces Policy Board—highlighting needs of families of activated National Guard and Reserve members
  • National Military Family Association is honored in Hollywood at American Veteran Awards
  • Congress gives DoD authority to provide additional family assistance to meet deployment-related needs


  • Association begins collaboration with InCharge Institute on Military Money quarterly magazine
  • DoD and Department of Labor sign Memorandum of Understanding to promote military spouse employment
  • Congress acts on Association's recommendation to increase Family Separation Allowance from its current rate of $100/ month to $250/month
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom begins


  • Association successfully fights for increased benefits for survivors of all active duty deaths
  • Congress passes legislation to end age 62 offset to the Survivor Benefit Plan
  • First Operation Purple® camp season, 1,000 military children attend summer camp for free
  • Military OneSource debuts
  • Association publishes study results, Serving the Homefront – An Analysis of Military Family Support September 11, 2001 –March 31, 2004
  • Association works with Army Disabled Soldier Support System (now Army Wounded Warrior Program) to take care of wounded service members and their families
  • Association awards first military spouse scholarships
  • National Military Family Association Family Award first presented


  • Association testifies in support of expanded programs for wounded service members and their families
  • Association supports expansion of child care programs through Operation Military Child Care


  • Association publishes Cycles of Deployment—the organization's third assessment of military families' quality of life
  • Association publishes the first edition of Military Spouse Education Resource Guide
  • Congress passes Military Lending Act, cracking down on predatory lenders in military communities
  • Association testifies before DoD Mental Health Task Force


  • Operation Purple program is honored at White House event and camps are featured on the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and in USA Today
  • Association hosts Military Spouse Education Symposium—experts discuss military spouse education obstacles and solutions


  • DoD begins full replacement value reimbursement for goods damaged in military moves
  • Association hosts its First Reserve Component Family Program Symposium
  • Operation Purple Program marks milestone of sending 20,000 military kids to free summer camp
  • Association expands scholarship program with awards for foreign-born spouses and spouses of wounded or fallen service members
  • Association's Public Service Announcements produced in partnership with Uniformed Services Family Health Plan win Emmy
  • First changes to the Family Medical Leave Act in 10 years accommodate military family members


  • National Military Family Association celebrates its 40th Anniversary
  • Association unveils new logo and “Together We’re Stronger” tagline
  • We pushed for a requirement for a report on financial assistance for child care provided to all active duty members as well as those Reserve Component members deployed in a contingency operation. This was a notable success for our Association, as many of our recommendations were included in the final bill.
  • Our Association was pleased to have been selected as one of the military family organizations on the Department of Defense’s newly-convened Military Family Readiness Council. In addition to joining the council, we were also named an Ex-Officio member of the Interstate Compact Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.


  • The Caregivers And Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, S. 1963 was passed and signed into law.
  • The Association identified gaps in the newly expanded Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and as a result of our efforts, FMLA provisions were expanded to all military families.
  • A year-long study, conducted by the RAND Corporation surveying our Operation Purple families, allowed our Association to pinpoint exactly where military families need help when it comes to deployments and reintegration.
  • We continued our popular Operation Purple® camp program with a total of 68 camps in 37 states, as well as in Guam and Germany. Nearly 10,000 military children benefitted from this program and learned that “Kids Serve, Too!”
  • We worked closely with Congressional staffers to introduce the Military Spouse Job Continuity Act, which would provide a tax credit of up to $500 to any military spouse who has to renew or transfer a professional license due to PCS orders.
  • We awarded approximately 560 spouses the National Military Family Association Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship.
  • Our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/militaryfamily has become increasingly popular, and in 2010 we garnered more than 10,000 fans of our page.


  • At the threat of government shutdown, our Association sprang into action, creating the first and only comprehensive resource guide for military families in the event that paychecks did not come through. That page on our website garnered approximately 78,000 views over a two-day period and our posts about it on Facebook and Twitter were some of the farthest-reaching of the year.
  • The commissary page on our website received more than 250 comments from concerned military families that the Association’s Government Relations team then took to congressional offices, along with our own research and position on the issue. The result was the withdrawal of the proposal to combine the commissary and exchange systems, which would have eliminated the savings our community relies on.
  • The Association released Finding Common Ground: A Toolkit for Communities Supporting Military Families. This one-of-a-kind resource offers specific and practical tips for community groups to support military families. The toolkit targets families, friends, neighbors, educators, health care professionals, child and youth professionals, and community, civic, and religious leaders. It even provides tips for philanthropic supporters, employers, government officials, and military leaders.
  • Congress passes the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) requiring automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years. In a process known as “sequestration” $600 billion will be cut from the defense budget.


  • MyMilitaryLife – the first app of its kind is launched with six life paths: moving, having a baby, spouse education, separation or retirement, raising kids, and deployment.
  • Branching Out – a blog by the National Military Family Association is launched to create another link to the military community by highlighting important issues and creating immediate conversations with military families.
  • Association is honored as a recipient of the Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment.
  • Fiscal Cliff negotiations include a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. The rising debt ceiling, sequestration, and delayed spending bills threaten the readiness of service members and their families.


  • Tenth Anniversary of Operation Purple Camps now includes Operation Purple Family Retreats for families to reintegrate after deployment and Healing Adventures programs for wounded families to connect after an injury.
  • Association staff, Volunteers, and friends storm Capitol Hill to illustrate harm caused by sequestration
  • Association launches new Caregiver web section and Caregiver app life path in conjunction with release of Caregiver to Caregiver tips funded by Elizabeth Dole Foundation
  • Association’s Government Shutdown page receives 205,000+ visits
  • Congress responds to Association testimony by ordering DoD report on military family member suicides


  • Association moves to new office space
  • Survey highlights lack of information and support for military spouses whose service members are leaving the military and prompt Association to sponsor roundtable where experts from public and private sector helped to identify resources
  • Association highlights military families with float in the New York City Veterans Day parade
  • Association urges improved family support for families of service members combatting West Africa Ebola outbreak


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