A Note From Blue Star Families
Join as we celebrate military milestones and build a sustainable future for military families.
What a wonderful time of year it is! Since its launch in 2020, our Campaign for Inclusion has grown, expanding our research initiatives, forming partnerships with organizations that support the military and Veteran space, and broadening our aperture to include all diverse military families.
We want to ensure that our military and Veteran communities use the 4 Rs: Readiness and Resiliency to Retain and Recruit talent. We can only do this by promoting a better environment for everyone. As we work hard in our efforts, I think it is important to take a moment to reflect and celebrate where we came from in order to know where we are going! Currently, there are many military milestones to commemorate. My hope is that you join me in celebrating.
I would like to celebrate the second year of our Campaign for Inclusion Research Series and the release of the newest report, “Build Bridges to Belonging: Building Bridges to Belonging for Military Families of Color ”. I believe that it is our communities' shared responsibility to shed light on these critical issues, be transparent about what the critical issues are, and seek to find solutions, so that our military families feel valued, seen, and respected in the communities where they call home. This two-day event did just that! Using data from the 2022 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, we identified and elevated new findings illuminating how experiences of discrimination impact communities and military recommendation. Perhaps more important, we identified community attributes that families point to as bridges to belonging. In this two-day event, we were able to bring key military and community leaders into the same room as we brainstormed actionable community solutions. We concluded the research event with a celebration as we honored our second cohort of the DEPLOY Fellowship with a graduation! Our third cohort of DEPLOY Fellows will begin September 5, 2023.
As I continue to celebrate, and think of what would be my favorite number right now—it would be 75! This year, June 12th marked the 75th Anniversary of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act which allowed, for the first time, women to serve as regular members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps! And, July 26 will be the 75th Anniversary of the Integration of the Armed Forces. Both milestones support the equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to gender, race, color, religion, or national origin. In honor of this, Blue Star Families has partnered with Howard University and The Chamberlain Project for an in-person Freedom to Serve Summit which will honor the 75th Anniversary of Integration. I am excited to once again have so many community and military leaders in the room setting the stage so that we can work together to build a more inclusive and equitable military community!
Carlandra “CT” Moss
Director, Campaign for Inclusion
President Biden issues Executive Order on Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors
On June 9th, the President issued an Executive Order aimed at addressing spouse employment challenges for currently-serving military spouses that included data from our annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey. Highlights from the order include:
- Development of a government-wide military and Veteran spouse, military caregiver, and survivor hiring and retention strategic plan (Military-Connected Plan)
- Updates to the federal training and hiring authorities that strengthen the ability of the Federal Government to train, develop, and hire military and Veteran spouses and survivors.
- Reinforcing telework and remote work flexibility options for Federal employees, including military spouses and military caregivers.
- Improvements made to the Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas (DETO) program
- Expanded support for military and Veteran spouse entrepreneurs
- Establishment of flexible spending accounts for the care of military dependents
Blue Star Welcome Week 2023 is coming!
Are you part of an organization or business and would like to ensure military families feel welcome in your community? Blue Star Welcome Week 2023 is just around the corner (September 23rd — October 1st) and we'd love to have you join us! Check out our partner event registration and think about how your organization may be able to participate. We look forward to having you be part of this important initiative to ensure military families feel welcome no matter where the mission takes them!
Protect Yourself During PCS
✋ You need this if you're PCSing this summer. Aura, an online security expert and trusted Blue Star Partner, designed a safety guide to help you safeguard your military family against scammers looking to access your personal information or financial accounts before, during, and after a move. Grab it here, and access a two-week free trial and their exclusive military discount here: aura.com/military.
Love a Good Discount? Same 🎯
Target's running a special tribute to our military, Veterans, and families! Run, don't walk because you get an exclusive 10% OFF two storewide purchases for a limited time (June 25th — July 4th). Learn more and get a curated list of supplies you'll need before, during, and after a move. Grab your freebie and discount here.
Are you or a loved one part of an LGBTQ+ military family looking for support?
PFLAG Connects: Military Community, in partnership with the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA), holds safe, virtual, monthly meetings led by current/former LGBTQ+ service members and/or military spouses.
Celebrating Military Spouses Across the Country!
In May, thanks to our awesome volunteers and partners at Starbucks, we hosted over 50 events to celebrate military spouses!
Spouses joined us for a few fun treats, decorated flower pots, and engaged in conversation around learning to Grow Wherever You Go.
Thanks for all you do, military spouses!
Military Spouse Appreciation Extravaganza
In honor of Military Spouse Appreciation week, Blue Star Families hosted a week-long giveaway on social media, where we gave away over 1,500 prizes to military spouses! Some of the items given away included products from T-Mobile, Coach, Tapestry, Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Vision, SleepNumber, Starbucks, Nomades, and CVS. Thank you to all who participated, and to our Blue Star Partners for allowing us to honor military spouses in a big way! We hope you feel the love!
Congratulations, DEPLOY Fellows!
In May, we celebrated a year of amazing work and connections with our DEPLOY Fellows at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The Fellows also participated in a roundtable session at Booz Allen's Helix facility and a tour of the White House. None of this would be possible without the generous support of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lockheed Martin, Salesforce, BAE Systems, USAA, McCormick Foundation, and Wells Fargo.