Military Spouse Appreciation Day
The month of May is National Military Appreciation Month, dedicated as a month of unity in honoring the current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Most notably May comes to an end with Memorial Day, a national holiday remembering those who died in active military service observed on the last Monday of the month.
A lesser known day of observance within National Military Appreciation Month is Military Spouse Appreciation Day celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day. The day is meant to recognize the significant contributions, support, and sacrifices of spouses of the Armed Forces. While these sacrifices are largely personal and occur daily, one of the largest has a national economic factor and potential national security risk.
96% of military spouses are women
Military spouses earn 26.8% less than their non-military spouse peers
49% of military spouses possess undergraduate or graduate degrees
Two-thirds of employed military spouses report they are in positions that require fewer skills or responsibilities than in previously held positions
Military spouses are not considered a protected class in hiring practices
2018 research asserted that two-thirds of military families experience financial stress. 50% of those reporting these stresses stated that the non-military spouses’ un- or under-employment is the reason. Of course this affects decisions families make to stay in the armed forces, which eventually could result in a negative impact on our national security as it is a risk to military retention and recruiting. A study from 2017 found that 81% of surveyed military members and their spouses discussed leaving the military due to spouse employment concerns.
While there has been some improvement over recent years, the unfortunate truth is that military spouses live in a recession. Thankfully, there are innovative companies and efforts being made to improve the situation. With the help of employers and other group commitments, it is exciting to see a collective effort put toward employing the leadership skills military spouses bring to the table. Keeping these spouses employed is not just an economic concern, but should be looked at as imperative to our country’s security as it’s provided by an all volunteer force.
Full video of CEO Eric Isham and VP of Marketing Melanie Tucciarone on our LinkedIn page.