DoD

May 10, 2012

Families list retirement, pay as top issues

Tags:
Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
Retirement

WASHINGTON (AFPS) — Military families regard the possible change of military retirement benefits as their top concern, according to the results of a major survey re-leased today.

The 2012 Military Family Life-style Survey also shows that pay and benefits, the impact of deployments on children, operational tempo, spouse employment and education and combat stress and brain injuries are most on the minds of military family members.

Blue Star Families, a nonprofit military family support organization, released the findings of its third annual survey before a Capitol Hill audience of Congress members, military family members and support organizations, and media.

“That data in this survey is the story of our lives,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, the chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. The survey, she said, is conducted by professional researchers who also are military family members.

More than 4,000 family members responded to the survey, represent-ing each of the services — active, National Guard and reserve, and Coast Guard — and all areas of the country. Nearly half of the survey respondents have a service member in the senior enlisted ranks, and 64 percent of respondents are between the ages of 25 and 44.

Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said the department and the nation are challenged by economic problems today, but that both must take care of military families.

Things changed after the Vietnam War, Gordon said.

“We got out of Vietnam and into the all-volunteer force,” he said. “Because of that, our force became a married force.”

Also, Gordon said, the military now is structured so that “the entire military goes to war.” Indeed, the survey found that National Guard and Reserve members have spent as much time away from home in the past decade as active duty members.

“We’re challenged today, and I would say we are up to that challenge,” Gordon said. “We have a supportive Congress and a supportive administration, where the first lady and Dr. [Jill] Biden are out pitching for the military” through their “Joining Forces” campaign.

“That’s why this survey is so important,” he said. “We need to know how these families feel. We have to have a better integration of [combat veterans] when they come home — and they are coming home.”

 

Among the findings:

  • Thirty-one percent of respondents listed possible changes to retirement benefits as their biggest con-cern, followed by 20 percent who cited pay and benefits as their top concern
  • Veterans said their biggest concerns related to separating from the military were employment opportunities, followed by access to health care
  • Seven percent of respondents listed operational tempo as their top concern, and support for staying in the military dropped from 52 percent for families who were separated 13 to 24 months, to 15 percent for those who spent more than 37 months apart
  • Sixty percent of spouse respondents are not currently employed, and of those, 53 percent wanted to be* 57 percent said being a military spouse has a negative impact on their ability to work
  • 27 percent had problems getting professional a to transfer to different states
  • Six percent of respondents listed post-traumatic stress, combat stress and traumatic brain injuries as their top issue
  • 26 percent said their service member had signs of post-traumatic stress and 3 percent said they had a diagnosis
  • Ninety-two percent of respondents said they could help their children make positive school decisions during a spouse’s deployment, but 64 percent said deployment hampered their children’s abilities to participate in extracurricular activities
  • Ten percent of family members responded that they had considered suicide, compared to 9 percent for service members
  • Fifty-seven percent said prevention should be aimed at training frontline supervisors and commanders
  • Eighty-one percent volunteered in the past year
  • Eighty-nine percent are registered to vote
  • Eighty-two percent believe the all-volunteer force works well
  • Seventy percent were satisfied with the military life-style, and 60 percent would recommend the military for young people
  • Seventy-two percent said changing the law to allow gays to serve openly has had no impact on their service members’ ability to serve



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

New tuition assistance tool attuned to troops’ educational needs

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department continues to invest in its service members and has introduced a new online informational tool tailored to their unique school programs and educational needs, the Defense Department’s chief of voluntary education said in a DoD news interview this week. Dawn Bilodeau discussed a new online tool called “Tuition Assistance DECIDE.”...
 
 
DoD

New DoD cyber strategy nears release, official says

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department will release a new cyber strategy next week to guide the way ahead for cyber in the foreseeable future, a senior Pentagon official told Congress today. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee, Eric Rosenbach explained how DoD plans to continue improvement to America’s cybersecurity...
 
 
DoD

DoD eliminates renter’s insurance from BAH

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS. Va. — Following recent changes to Department of Defense Basic Housing Allowance policies, U.S. Service members living in privatized base housing will no longer automatically receive renter’s insurance through property management companies. Since privatization, Service members who live in military housing communities were automatically provided renter’s ins...
 

 
DoD

DoD extends Armed Services YMCA contract

WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense announced a one-year extension to the Armed Services Young Men’s Christian Association Military Outreach Initiative, according to DoD officials. Originally set to expire in March 2015, the contract with the YMCA will now continue uninterrupted until March 2016. “We are very pleased that we are able to extend this...
 
 
DoD

Afghan transition trends ‘positive,’ Campbell says

WASHINGTON – The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan delivered an upbeat assessment of progress in the nation, while also acknowledging there is much that needs to be done. Army Gen. John F. Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning that there is a new atmosphere in the Afghan capital of Kabul, and...
 
 
DoD
SecDef_pict

Carter takes office as 25th Defense secretary

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Ash Carter became the 25th secretary of Defense Feb. 17, after having served previously as deputy defense secretary, defense acquisition chief and assistant secretary for global strategic affairs. Pres...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin