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April Month of the Military Child

Purple Up April Military Child

In 1986, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger established April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the unique challenges faced by military children and to show appreciation for their sacrifices. This designation acknowledges the significant role military youth play in their communities, as they often face challenges such as having a parent deployed, frequent moves, new schools, and leaving friends. The Month of the Military Child provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the sacrifices these children make and to express gratitude for their contributions to the military community. 


Here are some stories of historical figures who were military children and how their experiences shaped their contributions to society:


Military child Colin Powell

1. Colin Powell: The former U.S. Secretary of State and retired four-star general was a

military child. His family frequently moved due to his father's Army career, instilling in him the values of discipline and adaptability that served him well in his military and diplomatic roles.


2. Franklin D. Roosevelt: The 32nd U.S. President spent part of his childhood at military bases where his father was stationed. This exposure to the military lifestyle influenced his decision to create the Works Progress Administration, which employed many veterans during the Great Depression.


3. Shaquille O'Neal: The legendary NBA player was a military brat, moving frequently due to his stepfather's Army career. He credited this nomadic childhood with teaching him to make friends quickly and adapt to new environments, skills that helped him transition smoothly between teams.

Steve McQueen was a military child

4. Kathleen Battle: The renowned opera singer was born on a naval base and spent her childhood moving with her military family. She has spoken about how this experience shaped her discipline and determination to pursue a career in music.


5. Steve McQueen: The iconic actor was raised as a military child, which he believed contributed to his rebellious nature and tough persona that made him a successful leading man in action films.


These examples illustrate how the unique experiences of growing up in a military family can instill valuable traits like resilience, adaptability, and determination, which can contribute to success in various fields.


Blue Star Families

The Military Family Lifestyle Survey, conducted by Blue Star Families, captures experiences of respondents worldwide and generate millions of data points. The survey remains the largest and most comprehensive survey of active-duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members, Veterans, and their families. The purpose is to better understand the needs of military-connected families and inspire data-informed change. Topics covered are childcare, employment, family relationships, financial readiness, food insecurity, health and well-being, housing, military-to-civilian transition, and more.


  • The 2021 Military Family Support Programming Survey found that 79% of Army recruits in 2019 had a relative who served in the military.

  • The survey also notes that "the future of the all-volunteer force is military kids" and refers to the military as a "family business", highlighting the importance of military children joining the armed forces.

  • While exact statistics are not provided, the sources indicate that children of current or former military members are more likely to join the military themselves compared to those without any family military connections.


The sources emphasize the need to address the challenges faced by military families, especially at lower ranks, to ensure a sustainable pipeline of recruits from this traditionally reliable source of new service members.


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