Blue Star Families Releases Campaign for Inclusion 2022 Survey, Results Spotlight Unique Challenges of Military Families of Color

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2023Blue Star Families (BSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting military families and strengthening communities, published the results of its nationwide 2022 Campaign for Inclusion research. The report uncovers the lived experiences of military families of color, reveals the challenges within their communities, and delivers insights to create solutions. 

While military families of color reap significant benefits from service, they also face unique challenges. Blue Star Families polled military service members, Veterans, and families of color and found that active-duty families of color experienced racial/ethnic discrimination in both civilian and military communities.

38%of active-duty family respondents of color reported fearing for their personal safety due to their race/ethnicity at least once in their current civilian community. Not only that, 36% of active-duty family respondents said that their child had experienced racially/ethnically motivated bullying.

Discrimination can influence active-duty families’ decisions about their military careers and their willingness to recommend the military to others. Perceptions of racism and fear for their family’s safety in communities was shown to diminish military families’ sense of belonging in their communities, and it also made active-duty family respondents of color less likely to recommend military service. As military recruitment faces more challenges in recent years, poor recommendations from active-duty service members may impact young peoples’ interest in the military. 

“American communities want to be welcoming to the military and their families who keep us all safe and free yet few understand the strain many military families of color face in their communities,” said Kathy-Roth Douquet, BSF CEO and Founder. “Our research shows there’s a great opportunity to explore how local communities can help diverse families feel more welcome and more safe, to live with dignity, and be able to continue to serve.” 

The results showed that military families prefer to live in civilian communities, despite the reported challenges that military families face in building connections that contribute to a sense of belonging. Those surveyed expressed that readily available culturally-relevant goods/services and opportunities for diverse friendships in civilian communities may improve overall sense of belonging for military families of color. 

Beyond that, understanding military lifestyle was shown to be a top attribute that most contributed to overall sense of belonging for active-duty families. One third of active-duty family respondents of color reported that community members embracing diversity was a top contributor to overall sense of belonging. 

“We’re proud to continue seeking insights directly from our diverse military and Veteran communities, even when the data points reveal concerns,” said Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, U.S. Army (Ret.), and Co-Chair of the Campaign for Inclusion Committee. Understanding the challenges military families face on a day-to-day basis better equips communities and support organizations to respond to their needs in a way that truly makes a difference.”

Ensuring that service members and their families are taken care of is not only our obligation, but is also critical to national security.

This survey was conducted from May to July 2022 in partnership with the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families and polled 4,111 active-duty family respondents, including 1,133 respondents of color. This is the second consecutive year Blue Star Families conducted this comprehensive study to understand the experiences of diverse military families and Veterans and enact solutions to the challenges they face. 

“The IVMF is honored to once again collaborate with Blue Star Families on the annual Campaign for Inclusion Survey to better serve and support our military and Veteran families of color,” said Barb Carson, Managing Director Programs & Services, D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. “It’s crucial we have access to reliable data to drive informed policy decisions and provide the resources most needed by  families of color.”

To view the full results of the survey, please visit 

To learn more about Blue Star Families or get involved, visit

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