Blue Star Families’ Seventh Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey Reveals the All-Volunteer Force at a Crossroads

Pay, Retirement and Spouse Employment Top List of Concerns for
Military Families

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Financial issues of military pay, changes to retirement benefits, and
military spouse employment are the top concerns among military families,
according to the 2016 Blue Star Families (BSF) annual Military Family
Lifestyle Survey (aMFLS) released today.

However, quality of life and wellness concerns are increasing relative
to financial concerns. Three of the top issues for military families
revealed in the 2016 survey are related to quality of life: impact of
deployments on children, family stability and operational tempo.

“This year’s survey results show a military community at a point of
inflection,” explained Cristin Orr Shiffer, Senior Advisor for Policy
and Survey at Blue Star Families. “It shows the country needs to get
smarter about what a healthy All-Volunteer Force really looks like and
what it needs it to look like to ensure future success.”

The survey is 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 survey is an
opportunity to increase dialogue between the military community and
broader American society, minimizing the civilian-military divide and
supporting the health and sustainability of the All-Volunteer Force.

“The insight gained in this comprehensive survey doesn’t just give voice
to the financial and quality of life concerns of our nation’s military
families,” said Mike Kelly, assistant vice president of Military
Advocacy at USAA. “It gives the rest of the nation a blueprint for the
kind of support the military community needs to stay strong on the home

The survey’s findings indicate military families are assets to national
defense and local communities. They are central to the health and
capability of the All-Volunteer Force and are good neighbors actively
engaged in making their civilian communities great places to live.
Service members may be employed by their respective services, but they
work for all Americans – and so do their families.

The Comprehensive Report is a framework through which our national
leaders and local communities can better understand why supporting
military families isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also the smart

About the Military Family Lifestyle Survey

This is the seventh iteration of the BSF Military Family Lifestyle
Survey, which has been conducted annually since 2009. The 2016 survey,
designed by Blue Star Families in collaboration with Syracuse
University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and
analyzed by the Department of Research and Policy at Blue Star Families,
was fielded in April and May of this year. More than 8,300 military
families, including active duty service members and veterans, provided
valuable insight regarding the true cost of sustaining the All-Volunteer
Force. The Military Family Lifestyle Survey’s response rate makes it the
largest and most comprehensive survey of active duty, veterans, and
their families.

Funding for the 2016 annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey is provided
through the generosity of our presenting sponsor USAA and from Lockheed
Martin Corporation, UnitedHealthcare Military and Veterans, Fisher House
Foundation, Facebook, and the USO.

To read the complete Comprehensive Report for the 2016 Military
Family Lifestyle Survey, visit

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by
connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career
development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver
support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged
tens of thousands of volunteers and served more than 1.5 million
military family members. Blue Star Families believes that all military
families should be able to serve and simultaneously build thriving and
healthy families. With Blue Star Families, military families can find
answers to their challenges anywhere they are. Visit for
more information.

About IVMF

The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher
education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues
impacting veterans and their families post-service. Supported by a
world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to
advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans
and their families, the IVMF delivers class-leading programs in career,
vocations, and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also
provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and
program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact
strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance
service delivery for veterans and their families. Please visit for
more information.

About USAA

The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments,
retirement products and advice to 11.8 million current and former
members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary
commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for
outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA
membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S.
military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their
eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San
Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or
Twitter (@USAA),
or visit


Blue Star Families
Bana Miller, 910-578-4841