2023 Survey on the Strengths and Challenges of Military Relationships

A closeup image of a man and a woman holding hands. The man is in military fatigues.

Photo by Angelev/Adobe Stock

This survey will provide DoD leadership with the information they need to develop policies that ensure service members and military spouses—like you—are given the support they need while performing critical work for the country.

Researchers invited 300,000 service members and spouses to take this survey. If you were selected, you will receive an email or postcard inviting you to participate. See below for a list of common questions about the survey and their answers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is being asked to take the survey?

    A random sample of service members and military spouses are being invited to take this survey. Your responses will help ensure that all service member and military spouse experiences are understood. Everyone's opinion is valued, and we need survey responses from everyone, including you. The survey results will have a direct impact on policies that affect you and other service members and spouses. If only some types of people complete the survey, DoD will be in the dark about the views of different types of people in different types of locations.

  • Why is this important to DoD?

    DoD is interested in making sure all service members and their families receive the support they need. However, DoD does not currently collect information on a number of family-related topics. This survey will provide DoD leadership with the information they need to develop policies that ensure service members and military spouses—like you—are given the support they need while performing critical work for the country.

    Your input can help the military understand how well your needs are being met and where the military can do a better job.

  • Why is this important to me?

    DoD wants to know directly from you what your experiences are like, so leaders can make policies that ensure you and your family have the security and resources you need to thrive.

  • What is RAND?

    RAND is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with an international reputation for conducting high-quality research and analyses, particularly in matters of public policy and national defense. DoD has asked researchers at RAND to design and implement the 2023 Survey on the Strengths and Challenges of Military Relationships. Employees at RAND are not employed by DoD.

  • How long is this survey?

    This survey will take approximately 25 minutes to complete. Depending on your responses, it may take you more or less time. If you decide to take a break from the survey, your responses will be saved, and you can return to finish it later.

  • Is this survey voluntary?

    Yes, the survey is completely voluntary. You can decide not to participate. If you start the survey, you can stop your participation at any time.

  • Are my responses to this survey confidential?

    Yes, this survey is confidential. The study team will never give DoD information about who responded to the survey. In addition, the study team will not link your individual responses on this survey with your name or identity. DoD has agreed to this condition to protect your privacy. Only members of the RAND study team will have access to your individual responses, and we will take great care to protect your privacy. For example, we will only report the survey results for groups that are large enough to avoid disclosing what certain service members or spouses said on the survey. Our research team also has safeguarding procedures in place to ensure that survey data are protected from accidental disclosure.

  • Are there risks to participating?

    For most respondents, there are no risks to participating in the survey. However, for some people, topics in the survey may cause discomfort or distress. The survey describes serious forms of abuse, and some people might find these descriptions upsetting. These descriptions are included to make sure the survey can accurately measure when these serious forms of abuse have occurred and to show people who have experienced abuse that these events are included and taken seriously.

  • Do I need to take this survey on a DoD computer?

    No, you can take this survey from a personal phone or computer. You can forward the survey invitation to your personal email, so that you can complete it away from work. Please do not forward your survey invitation to another person as each access code link may be used by only one individual.

  • Who is the sponsor of this survey?

    The survey is sponsored by DoD Military Community and Family Policy.

  • How long will this survey be open for participation?

    The survey is expected to close in May 2023.

  • I didn't receive my access code. How can I find it?

    Your access code was included in the email we sent inviting you to participate. If you accidentally deleted or cannot find your access code, please contact RAND's Survey Research Group at StrengthsSurvey@rand.org.

  • What will happen to the results?

    Survey answers will be analyzed and compiled into reports that will be shared with DoD officials and publicly released. A link to the report with survey results will be posted on RAND's website (rand.org) when it becomes publicly available.

  • Who should I contact for computer or technical problems?

    Contact the RAND Survey Research Group at StrengthsSurvey@rand.org.

  • What if I have a different question about the survey?

    Contact the study team by email at MilitaryRelationships@rand.org.