DCoE Strategic Communications on January 27, 2011
President Barack Obama announces a new government-wide initiative to benefit military families as Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama look on during a Jan. 24, 2011, White House event. (DoD photo by Elaine Wilson)
President Barack Obama announced earlier this week, a government-wide plan to strengthen military family support. In addition to supporting the service member, this new approach recognizes the importance of providing family members with the support, programs and resources they deserve and need. It’s an interagency commitment, which includes the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and agencies all across the federal government, to improve the well-being and quality of life for military families.
“It’s not just a moral obligation, but a matter of national security. The readiness of our armed forces depends on the readiness of our military families,” said Obama.
The latest whole-of-government approach is the result of a yearlong review of military family support that Obama issued to understand the unique challenges and identify the most pressing issues that service members and families face. The report, titled “Strengthening our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment” presents new programs and initiatives government agencies plan to launch in the pending months.
The report identifies the following four key priorities that the government-wide effort plans to focus on:
- Enhance the well-being and psychological health of the military family
- Ensure excellence in military children’s education and development
- Develop career and educational opportunities for military spouses
- Increase child care availability and quality for the armed forces
“This document is the commitment to our military families not only of this government, but this nation in terms of their support, their care and their empowerment,” said Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Pentagon’s office of Military Community and Family Policy, told the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service in a recent interview.
Additionally, included in the report, are new initiatives aimed to improve and increase behavioral health services for military families – promote early recognition of mental health conditions – and integrate mental health services into primary care.
Video of the president’s speech is available on the Pentagon Channel website and the White House press release is available.
We want to hear your thoughts. What do you think about this new commitment to our armed forces and their families?