A collection of our groundbreaking research reports and recommendations regarding the unique challenges of military and Veteran family life.
Our groundbreaking research provides unique insights and empirically-driven recommendations that raise the nation's awareness of the unique challenges of military and Veteran family life.
Alongside communities across the country, we are helping military and Veteran families overcome the isolation and alienation of frequent moves, deployments, and other complex realities.
Senate Statement from Military and Veteran Support Organizations on Promotion Block
October 12, 2023
As we watch events around the world unfold, it is more important than ever that we have senior leaders in place who are equipped and authorized to provide the best advice and make the best decisions on behalf of the United States. They can't do that while the Senate continues to block their promotions. Here is the letter to Senators calling for an end to the promotion blockade.
to the Common Defense
The potential government shutdown could have immediate impacts on military personnel and their families, especially if they go without pay. The promotion block injects more uncertainty into an already uncertain military lifestyle, as relocations and promotions down the chain of command are held up. These issues remain in the forefront of military family conversations about recruitment and retention, and military families must remain in the forefront of the conversation about these issues.
Relocation and Housing
Over the past two years, military families have reported through Blue Star Families’ Military Family Lifestyle Survey that housing costs and relocation issues have become increasingly stressful and expensive. Blue Star Families conducted a Pulse Check September 16-21, 2022 to explore the challenges relocating military families experienced in their most recent relocation, including the amount of time spent in temporary housing while searching or waiting for permanent housing availability, the cost of that temporary housing, challenges with finding and securing permanent housing, and the out-of-pocket monthly costs of their permanent housing, once obtained.
Afghanistan to Ukraine
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide timely, relevant support for military families, Blue Star Families conducted a follow-up to our original Supporting Afghanistan Allies Pulse Check (September 3rd - 7th, 2021). With this follow-up Pulse Check, we explore feelings surrounding last year’s withdrawal of all remaining troops from Afghanistan and actions taken to support our Afghan allies, as well as how the crisis in Ukraine impacts our military and Veteran families.
Supporting Afghanistan Allies
The recent withdrawal of all remaining troops from Afghanistan, as well as the evacuation of both U.S. citizens and Afghan allies, spotlighted the chaotic end of the United States' longest war. Blue Star Families sought to better understand the feelings surrounding this issue from military- and Veteran-connected families by conducting the Supporting Afghanistan Allies Pulse Check from September 3rd-7th, 2021.
Caregiving in Military Families
Military families face unique challenges associated with military life. Caregivers shoulder the burdens of caring for loved ones.
Caregiving in Military Families, a special report created in collaboration with the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, examines these two circumstances in combination: caregiving and military families. For the first time, you can get an unprecedented view of this special population through a focused exploration of data from the 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey. Learn how many military families are caregiving, who military caregivers are and who they are caring for, how the military lifestyle affects caregiving, and more.
Military Families' Perceptions of the COVID-19 Vaccine: Focus Group Insights
Blue Star Families' polling found that military-connected families' concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine mirror those of their civilian counterparts. These focus group insights substantiate those findings, while also providing nuanced insight into specific communications strategies that are effective with vaccine deliberate and vaccine averse participants.
Military Families' Perceptions of the COVID-19 Vaccine (Pulse Check | Part II)
This poll sought to understand military and Veteran family members' perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine, provide insights into vaccine hesitant populations, and present actionable recommendations to improve vaccine uptake and access.
Military and Veteran Families' Financial Needs (Pulse Check)
This poll sought to identify immediate post-holiday financial needs among those facing financial hardship, understand how and/or if they were addressing these needs, and identify barriers to seeking financial support. The report also explores issues unique to National Guard families and the intersection of military spouse employment and financial wellness.
Military Families' Perceptions of the COVID-19 Vaccine (Pulse Check | Part I)
This poll sought to understand military and Veteran family members' perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine and their willingness to receive it. Findings reveal that the majority of military family members in early December 2020 did not plan to receive the vaccine and many more remained uncertain.
Military and Veteran Families' Pre-Holiday Financial Needs (Pulse Check)
This poll sought to identify immediate pre-holiday financial needs among those facing financial hardship, understand how and/or if they were addressing these needs, and identify barriers to seeking financial support. Findings reveal disproportionate needs for caregiver families, highlight immediate needs among all ranks (not only junior enlisted), and underscore the need to reduce the stigma of help-seeking behavior.
Use of Military Troops to Quell Civil Unrest (Pulse Check)
This poll gauged military families' thoughts on National Guard deployments and possible active-duty deployments to quell civil unrest in our nation.
Resilience Under Stress Study (RUSS)
The RUSS explored the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on military and Veteran families, and how communities can support military family resilience. This research was made possible by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI), presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, and in partnership with USAA and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University.
Pain Points Poll (PPP)
Over its 10-week fielding period, the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI) Pain Points Poll identified the intense challenges our military families, military communities, and Veterans experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey (aMFLS)
The aMFLS remains the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind, providing a comprehensive understanding of the current state of military- and Veteran-connected families. The experiences and challenges shared within offer crucial insight and data to inform national leaders, local communities, and philanthropic actors, empowering them to create opportunities that support the health and sustainability of our All-Volunteer Force.
Connected Communities Impact Study (CCIS)
Made possible through a collaboration with the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah
The CCIS is a pilot program intended to evaluate the impact of dedicated resources (including a full-time Chapter Director and Careers Manager) working together to support military families in a specific geographic location.
Building a F.A.S.T. Force Report
This report, released by the Bipartisan Policy Center's Task Force on Defense Personnel, presents the task force's assessment of the nation's imperative to improve defense personnel systems to better meet unpredictable, future national security needs, with specific recommendations for the consideration of policymakers. With Blue Star Families' CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet serving as a co-chair, the voices of our military families were clearly heard, providing input that was crucial to the objective.
Military Spouse Employment Study
The Social Cost Analysis of the Unemployment and Underemployment of Military Spouses study reveals the economic costs to society from the high rates of unemployment, underemployment, and reduced labor force participation among U.S. military spouses. Research was conducted by the Sorenson Impact Center, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, in consultation and collaboration with Blue Star Families.
White Oak Executive Summary
The White Oak Collaborative is a cross-sector coalition of organizations committed to supporting service members, Veterans, wounded warriors, caregivers, survivors, and their families.
As part of this collaborative, the annual White Oak Retreat brings together 50+ leaders to create an environment to share new perspectives, catalyze trusted friendships, develop intellectual or operating partnerships, and identify new "big, scalable ideas" related to positively impacting military and Veteran family life.
In the wake of each retreat, Blue Star Families releases an executive summary detailing the findings and consensus-driven recommendations that emerged from participants' conversations.
Corporate Employee Engagement Summit
Blue Star Families and Booz Allen Hamilton convened a Corporate Employee Engagement Summit in 2015, bringing together top government, nonprofit, and corporate actors to identify and strengthen opportunities for corporate community engagement and expand military spouse and Veteran employment.