Military families and families of the fallen have traditionally looked to the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Service branches for services and support, but all federal agencies share in the responsibility for ensuring that their programs and services are accessible to military families. Recognizing this shared responsibility, President Obama issued a Presidential Directive in 2010 requiring all federal agencies, as well as the White House Domestic Policy and National Economic Councils and the Offices of the Vice President, the First Lady, and Dr. Biden to develop a coordinated Federal government approach to supporting and engaging military families.
Military leadership at all levels and civilian leadership at the federal executive level have the capability to make a difference in the health and well-being of military families. Research shows that service members are less effective when their families back home are in distress. Many of the actions needed are not costly, but can have significant positive effects on the families at home.
To access the Presidential Directive report, “Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment” and to read what federal agencies are doing to respond to the President’s call to action go to www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0111_initiative/.
Military OneSource is a comprehensive, free resource and referral service for military families and families of the fallen providing information for everything from moving, to counseling, to car repair services. For more information, go to www.militaryonesource.com.
MilitaryHOMEFRONT is the DoD website for official Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) program information, policy and guidance designed to help troops and their families, leaders, and service providers. Go to www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil and click on “Leadership” for more information.
Department of Defense Educational Activity Educational Partnership works with local schools to provide caring adults to enhance the education experience for military children. Visit www.militaryk12partners.dodea.edu for more resources and information.
The Citizens Soldier Support Program (CSSP) has developed training and resources for Health professionals and families. Visit www.citizensoldiersupport.org for more information. To access CSSP’s searchable database of primary and behavioral health care providers who are trained in serving military members and their families go to www.warwithin.org.
The Department of Defense (DoD) State Liaison Office seeks to engage the states about the needs of military members and their families. To learn more about the DoD State Liaison Office and their ten priorities visit www.usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a DoD program to support National Guard and Reserve members and their families before, during and after deployment. The Yellow Ribbon Program has created a Center of Excellence that highlights lessons learned from state and local community programs. To access the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Center of Excellence go to www.yellowribbon.mil.