Caregiving In Military Families

June 2021

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 finds 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 (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. Findings reveal that although the majority of respondents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or have an appointment to do so, about half of unvaccinated respondents from all groups do not plan to receive the vaccine and many more remain uncertain. The top reasons for vaccine hesitancy are similar to those found in the civilian population, and differences by gender and military affiliation do exist.

PULSE CHECK - Military-Connected Families' Post-Holiday Financial Needs

March 2021

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. Findings reveal that despite indications of overall financial improvement, those requiring immediate financial assistance report needs across a greater number of areas. The report also explores issues unique to National Guard families and the intersection of military spouse employment and financial wellness.

PULSE CHECK - COVID-19 Vaccine Report

December 2020

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. The top reasons for vaccine reluctance were distrust of the vaccine development process and timeline, and concerns over vaccine safety.

PULSE CHECK - Military and Veteran Families’ Pre-Holiday Financial Needs

November 2020

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 underscores the need to reduce the stigma of help-seeking behavior.

Racial Equity Research Series

Blue Star Families is committed to equitable and inclusive research. As part of that commitment we have begun exploring our existing data through a racial equity lens and will be conducting a full needs assessment to better understand the needs of military families of color in 2021.

Check out a teaser of some of the issues we've been looking at so far below.

2019 MFLS Insights:

Bridging the Gap

The goal of Blue Star Families’ research and policy work is to increase the awareness and understanding of military family life trends and the ramifications for both our Armed Forces and our American society.

Through this work, we’re inspiring meaningful engagement between military and civilian neighbors in our communities. We’re accomplishing this through individual research projects, policy analysis, and the seminal Comprehensive Report from our annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey.

Thanks to our research and policy engagement across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, Blue Star Families can provide unique insights and empirically-driven recommendations supporting improved civilian-military cooperation.

Data Requests

Blue Star Families appreciates the opportunity to connect our data with for-profit and non-profit organizations who can use it to support and benefit military and veteran families.

PULSE CHECK - Civil Unrest

June 2020

See the results of the Pulse Check poll gauging your thoughts on the current National Guard deployments and possible active-duty deployments to quell civil unrest in our nation.

Resilience Under Stress Study (RUSS)

The Resilience Under Stress Study (RUSS) explores how military and veteran families use their resilience to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. This research is made possible by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI), presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, and in partnership with USAA and the Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University.

Pain Points Poll

Over it's 10-week fielding, the CMSI Pain Points Poll identified the intense challenges our military families, military communities, and veterans experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. By staying connected to our military community we have been able to initiate necessary policy shifts and to alert military, government, and non-profit leaders of the pain points our community has faced during this global pandemic.

Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey

Blue Star Families’ annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey (aMFLS) provides a comprehensive understanding of the experiences and challenges encountered by military families. It remains the largest and most comprehensive survey of active duty, veterans, and their families. 

Survey Photo

This seminal survey provides a yearly “snapshot” of the state of military families, offering crucial insight and data to help inform national leaders, local communities, and philanthropic actors. Most critically, the publication and widespread use of this survey create opportunities to support the health and sustainability of our all-volunteer Force by increasing dialogue and understanding between the military community and broader American society.

Blue Star Families is conducting its annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey from September 8 to October 16! Last year over 11,000 respondents, including military spouses, active-duty service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve service members, and their immediate family members participated in the 2019 survey.


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Connected Communities Impact Study (CCIS)

The Connected Communities Impact Study (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. This study is currently ongoing in the San Diego and New York Tri-State regions, with a final report expected to publish in 2020. This research is made possible through collaboration with the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah.

Building a F.A.S.T. Force

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 as a Co-Chair of the Task Force, the voices of our military families were clearly heard, providing input that was crucial to this Task Force’s objective.


The MilSpouse 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. The 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 Summary

The White Oak Retreats started in 2010 and represent a collaborative (and high-powered) group of leaders in the non-profit, government and independent sectors who come together to facilitate solutions and encourage collaboration in support of our military families. It is a key event for Blue Star Families, allowing us the opportunity to collaborate with others and further our mission of continued and increased support for military families. You can view the summary of the latest retreat through the link below.


Corporate Employee Engagement Summit

Blue Star Families and Booz Allen Hamilton gathered 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.

BSF Webinars

All Things Military Spouse Employment

Strengthening Military Family Readiness Program Report

Military Family Member Suicide