Military Families

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Extended and repeated deployments can cause significant stress to military families and may result in lower levels of reenlistment. RAND research has explored the need for military-sponsored child care and the role of military spouses, and continues to provide guidance to policymakers on how to attract and retain personnel with essential skills while also supporting military families.

  • U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samuel Taylor, combat videographer, with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division returns from deployment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 19, 2017, photo by Lance Cpl. Tanner Seims/U.S. Marine Corps

    Tool

    A Guide to Evaluating Marine and Family Division Programs, Services, and Capabilities

    Sep 30, 2021

    For Marine and Family Division programs and services to remain meaningful, credible, and practical, their effectiveness must be able to be demonstrated. How might program implementers determine effectiveness and guide efficient use of scarce resources?

  • Spouses of soldiers participate in a Spouse Spur Ride at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, November 15, 2008, photo by Sgt. Mike Alberts/U.S. Army

    Report

    How Do Army Spouses Find the Help They Need?

    Dec 15, 2021

    The U.S. Army provides many resources to help soldiers and their families cope with military life. But Army spouses typically learn about services through word-of-mouth rather than through program outreach efforts. The Army could do more to get the word out about available assistance.

Explore Military Families

  • Military family walking on a path through the woods

    Commentary

    Honoring America's Veterans Requires Helping Their Families, Too

    This Veterans Day, the United States especially honors the millions of veterans living with service-related illnesses and injuries. But it's also important to recognize the sacrifices of those helping them to recover and thrive: America's 5.5 million military caregivers.

    Nov 11, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers cheer as U.S. President Barack Obama signs H.R. 3230, the Veteran's Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014

    Blog

    Research Drives Ongoing Support for Veterans

    On November 11, we honor the service and sacrifices of America's veterans. But as they return home and adjust to civilian life, veterans and their families face new challenges and communities struggle to meet their unique needs. Rigorous research is essential to addressing these challenges and finding long-term solutions. RAND explores key issues concerning veterans such as employment, health and well-being, family support, and education.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • Returning soldier with family

    Project

    RAND on Veterans' Issues

    RAND research explores key issues concerning military veterans, including health and well-being, education, employment and family issues.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Helping American Veterans and Their Caregivers

    In this podcast, Terri Tanielian offers policy recommendations designed to improve the lives of veterans, their caregivers, and their families.

    Sep 23, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Private Effort to Address Veterans' Mental Health Needs Could Aid VA Health Care Reform

    A unique partnership to support private efforts to provide mental health services to veterans and their families could provide a model for similar efforts should federal officials decide to expand privately provided health care as part of reform of the VA health system.

    Sep 18, 2014

  • A military family sits in front of their house

    Research Brief

    A Program Steps Up to the Plate to Aid Vets, Families with Mental Health Care

    As federal, state, and local agencies work with the philanthropic community to create models to outsource or leverage potential efficiencies from the private sector, a unique partnership and grant-making program to support veterans and their families has value and could guide future efforts.

    Sep 18, 2014

  • Sgt. Jaime Balderrama is honored by the New York Mets as Veteran of the Game, part of the Welcome Back Veterans initiative

    Report

    Private Effort to Address Veterans' Mental Health Needs Could Aid VA Health Care Reform

    A unique partnership to support private efforts to provide mental health services to veterans and their families could be a model for similar efforts should federal officials decide to expand privately provided health care as part of reform of the VA health system.

    Sep 17, 2014

  • An elderly man getting served a meal by his daughter

    Commentary

    Meeting the Caregivers Challenge

    Ill or injured military personnel and veterans and people with dementia are unique populations, but they give us a preview of the enormous long-term care challenges Americans will face in the decades to come.

    Aug 25, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    How Deployments Affect the Capacity and Utilization of Army Treatment Facilities

    This study examines how the Army's Force Generation (ARFORGEN) deployment cycle affects capability and soldier health care utilization at Army military treatment facilities and how it affects family health care utilization.

    Aug 7, 2014

  • Distressed soldier with counselor

    Commentary

    Military and Veteran Mental Health: Why Should Psychiatrists Care?

    What's happening in the mental health world of the U.S. military and veterans is of great interest to all American psychiatrists. The local impact of recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan runs much deeper than just the number of veterans in a particular practice or community.

    Aug 6, 2014

  • Man in wheelchair with caregiver, sitting by a lake

    Commentary

    Parallel Caregiver Crises, Military and Civilian

    Among American caregivers, there are two expanding populations: those caring for military servicemembers struggling with physical or emotional wounds of war and those looking after people with dementia. Both face incalculable financial stresses and threats to their own health as a result of their caregiving roles.

    Jul 9, 2014

  • The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona June 11, 2014

    Commentary

    Private Mental Health Providers Must Stand Ready to Help Veterans

    Not all veterans wish to seek services at or through the VA, and many may not meet eligibility criteria. The VA is a critical component of the health care delivery system for former U.S. servicemembers, but it cannot and should not comprise the system alone.

    Jun 27, 2014

  • military homecoming

    Blog

    Ask Me Anything: Rajeev Ramchand on Military Caregivers

    With military caregivers quickly becoming a topic of national discussion, RAND's Rajeev Ramchand hosted an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit last week, fielding a variety of questions about military caregivers and other issues concerning mental health and the U.S. military.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • Woman pushing a disabled man in a wheelchair

    Commentary

    One Military Caregiver's Story

    America shouldn't forget the sacrifices of those who care for the wounded. Rachel O'Hern tells the story of her life as a military caregiver, one of millions of spouses, family members, and friends who support service members and veterans with physical or emotional injuries or illnesses.

    May 23, 2014

  • Infographic

    Infographic

    After Nearly a Decade of War, Servicemembers and Families Report Stress, Resilience

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have put America's all-volunteer force to its most severe test since its inception in 1973. Explore this interactive infographic to learn more about how the troops and their families are faring.

    May 15, 2014

  • A Marine with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 smiles at his daughter after returning from a deployment

    Commentary

    The Long-Term Benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill for Military and Veteran Families

    Almost 450,000 servicemembers have elected to transfer some portion of their GI Bill benefits, predominantly to their children. These numbers suggest the extent of the Bill's potential effects on social mobility and educational attainment for the next generation.

    May 14, 2014

  • Marine Corps Base Quantico hosts a spouse appreciation event every month at the Clubs at Quantico

    Commentary

    Finding a New Normal: A Military Caregiver's Perspective

    The landscape for caregivers remains very difficult. Many still need additional training on how to best provide care for their loved ones, respite so they can care for themselves, and other forms of support.

    May 6, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    The Deployment Life Study: Methodological Overview and Baseline Sample Description

    The report provides a deeper understanding of military family readiness, describing the measures used in the baseline assessment, data-collection design and procedures, sampling and recruiting procedures, and the baseline sample of military families.

    Apr 28, 2014

  • serviceman and family

    Report

    RAND Military Caregivers Study: Key Facts and Statistics

    Although significant attention has been paid to servicemembers and veterans with service-related injuries and associated conditions, little is known about the needs of their caregivers or the resources that exist to meet them. This presentation highlights findings from the RAND Military Caregivers Study on caregiver activities, support, and services.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • Army husband and wife

    Commentary

    Four Ways to Help Military Caregivers

    As momentum continues to build, stakeholders across the board should keep in mind four broad recommendations for how to help military caregivers.

    Apr 15, 2014