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.

  • An Army couple reacts to local residents' posts regarding housing issues on a community Facebook group at their army base home in Fort Hood, Texas, May 16, 2019, photo by Amanda Voisard/Reuters

    Report

    How Do Army Families Handle the Challenges of Military Life?

    Oct 3, 2019

    Soldiers might see the stressors of military life as part of their duty. But what about their families? A survey of more than 8,500 Army spouses identified the problems they faced in the past year, the resources they sought, and whether those resources met their needs.

  • A U.S. Marine Corps soldier and his family outside their home

    Report

    Frequent Moves Affect Military Family Stability

    Oct 18, 2018

    About one-third of military service members experience a permanent change of station every year. Sometimes the moves have a positive effect, such as moving to a more desirable location, but they can also disrupt family stability. The DoD offers programs, policies, and services to address the disruptions.

Explore Military Families

  • sailor homecoming

    Commentary

    Military Caregivers Are Hidden Heroes

    Right now there are 5.5 million wives, husbands, siblings, parents, children and friends devoted to the care of those injured fighting America's wars. Theirs is an all-consuming, emotionally draining task, one that has been driven for too long by loyalty and love, but little support.

    Apr 2, 2014

  • wife welcoming soldier home on Army leave

    Commentary

    A World Without America's Military Caregivers

    A world without military caregivers would be a harsher one for all, particularly for those who have served. Caregivers' sacrifices improve the lives of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, more of whom would suffer without them.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • Surf therapy program for military veterans run by the Jimmy Miller Foundation

    Commentary

    Nonprofits and Bridging the Civil-Military Divide

    Troops, veterans, and military families can go to the National Resource Directory to find help if they need it, and citizens can turn there to find organizations serving those communities where they can donate their time or money. Each of us can play a role in bridging the civil-military divide, but only if we take action.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • News Release

    1.1 Million Americans Providing Care to Military Members Who Served Since 9/11

    More than 1.1 million spouses, parents, and friends are caring for the injured and disabled who have served in the U.S. military since Sept. 11, 2001, often doing so without a formal support network and putting their own well-being at risk.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • young soldier with wife

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers — Executive Summary

    This summary distills a longer report, Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers . It describes the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States, identifies gaps in support services, and offers recommendations.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier welcomed home from Afghanistan, photo by Capt. Charlie Dietz/U.S. Army

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    There are 5.5 million military caregivers across the United States, with nearly 20 percent caring for someone who served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Military caregivers experience more health problems, face greater strains in family relationships, and have more workplace issues than noncaregivers. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • senior couple smiling

    Research Brief

    Who Are Military Caregivers? And Who Is Supporting Them?

    There are 5.5 million Americans caring for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, providing indispensable services and saving the nation millions in health and long-term care costs. Researchers describe who these caregivers are, the burden they bear, available programs and resources, and areas where they need more support.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • working in office with computer and phone

    Research Brief

    Military Caregivers in the Workplace

    The business community can support military caregivers in many ways: raise awareness by promoting messages that support military caregivers, offer support services, work with employees to accomodate their caregiver duties, and hire caregivers.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • husband and wife with doctor

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: The Role of Health Providers

    Health care providers can support military caregivers in many ways: acknowledge them as part of the health care team, routinely assess caregiving needs and the presence of caregiver support, integrate them into health providers' culture, and adopt appropriate caregiver documentation requirements to facilitate their engagement.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol in spring

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: Options for Congress

    Congress can support military caregivers in many ways: reconsider eligibility requirements for caregiver support programs, ensure health care coverage for military caregivers, promote the integration and coordination of programs and services, and fully fund the Lifespan Respite Care Act.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • paper dolls in a circle

    Research Brief

    Support Resources for Military Caregivers

    Caregiving can take a lot of time and impose a heavy burden on caregiver health and well-being. But finding and utilizing support resources can help. Support services for military caregivers may provide respite care, financial stipends, health care and mental health care services, and more.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier hugging friend

    Blog

    Spotlight on America's Hidden Heroes: Military Caregivers

    Despite military caregivers' vital contributions, little is known about their numbers, the burden of caregiving that they shoulder, or the resources that exist to support them. To shed light on these "hidden heroes," a RAND team conducted the largest, most comprehensive study to date of military caregivers.

    Mar 24, 2014

  • woman hugging soldier

    Project

    The RAND Military Caregivers Study

    The RAND Military Caregivers Study focuses on caregivers of wounded, ill, and injured U.S. military servicemembers and veterans.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Sgt. First Class Richard Martinez is given the Milton Award that recognizes achievements in military intelligence during a redeployment ceremony

    Commentary

    Dear Military Spouses: I'm Sorry

    Kayla Williams describes her difficult transition from soldier to spouse, sergeant to civilian, team leader to caregiver. Two books by military wives opened her eyes to the challenges and rewards of marrying into the military, and the unique kind of service military families experience.

    Feb 27, 2014

  • Air Force veteran Cherokee was the lead organizer of an event in January in Reading, Pa. to help feed and clothe local veterans, many of whom are homeless

    Commentary

    Will America Forget Its Veterans?

    The needs of U.S. veterans will not end when the war does; they will just be beginning. Though over a lifetime veterans are more highly educated, employed, and paid than their civilian counterparts, the period of reintegration can be challenging.

    Feb 18, 2014

  • Report

    The Association Between Base-Area Social and Economic Characteristics and Airmen's Outcomes

    This report shows whether and how base-area characteristics are associated with individual-level Airman outcomes across several different domains, including health and well-being, social cohesion, and ratings of neighborhood resources.

    Feb 3, 2014

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014

    Blog

    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Home Front: Post-Deployment Mental Health and Divorces

    In this article, we examine how post-deployment symptoms of PTSD and of other mental health conditions are related to the probability of divorce among married active-duty U.S. Army soldiers.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • a man in a wheelchair with his wife and caregiver

    Commentary

    They Also Serve: Understanding the Needs of Military Caregivers

    Military families play a critical role in supporting U.S. servicemembers during deployment and afterwards. Equally vital but often less visible is the role played by those who care for the servicemembers who return with disabling injuries or illnesses and require long-term support beyond what the formal health care system provides.

    Nov 18, 2013

  • Report

    Social Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    One of a series of reports designed to support Air Force leadership in promoting resilience among Airmen, its civilian employees, and Air Force family members, this report examines social fitness, or the combination of resources from social connections that influence how individuals respond to stressful circumstances. It assesses the current social fitness constructs and measures in scientific literature to identify methods of increasing social connectedness and support among U.S. Airmen and their families.

    Oct 3, 2013