Background on Military Families

Pregnant Woman and Military Man

Children and spouses of servicemembers face unique challenges that many other Americans do not. Since the creation of the U.S. armed forces, military family members have been an often unsung support system for our troops, moving around with them and living in uncommon situations.

How does the process of families living on base work?

Soldiers and their families are given the option of living on-base or off-base. On-base families will most likely be placed on a 1-12 month waiting list depending on how many homes are available. In the interim, families are placed in a billeting (similar to a hotel). If there is no room for on-base billeting, families must live in off-base housing.

Living on-base

  • Families can avoid longer commutes to work, school, and other facilities.
  • Military housing is free.
  • Military police and security provides a safe environment and crime free environment.
  • Living-on base provides a supportive and loving community of people who can relate to each other.

Living off-base

  • Families receive a monthly allowance for food and other basic necessities.
  • Living off base frees families from following certain on-base rules, such as having to keep the grass on the lawn regularly cut.
  • There is more privacy.
  • A family could buy their own home (vs. on base homes, which are owned by the military).

How does school work for military children?

There are 159 on-base schools in the US (194 worldwide) for military children, and there's always the option of off-base schools too. The military also aids in education through:

  • Military child care programs. Operation Military Child Care (OMCC) takes care of children whose parents are either deployed or activated.
  • Scholarships. The Fisher House Foundation has awarded over 8.3 million dollars in scholarship grants to 5,400 military-associated students over the past ten years.
  • SOAR. Military children on average move every 2-3 years, can have trouble adjusting to new school curriculum. The Student Online Achievement Resource (SOAR) program provides online tutorials for academic support. The program also provides free SAT and ACT prep.
  • Our Military Kids. This organization offers programs to children who are in need of support from injured or deported parents. This program includes grants for sports and fine arts, tutoring, and a supportive environment to help kids cope with daily struggles.

Sources

U.S. Army

RealLiving

Military Scholar

Our Military Kids