WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) announced Nov. 16 that his Military Family Stability Act passed the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report and is now headed to President Trump’s desk. Blunt introduced the bill in May of this year and successfully included it in the Senate-passed NDAA.
“Military families provide our service members the unwavering support they need to carry out their missions and keep us safe,” said Blunt. “They are the foundation of our military strength, but their support also comes with a countless number of sacrifices. Frequent moves make it difficult for military spouses to pursue their career or complete their education, and for children to finish every school year in one location.”
The measure will increase flexibility for military families by allowing them to either move early or remain at their current duty station for up to six months while their spouse begins a new assignment.
Blunt continued, “The military has had to adapt and evolve to meet the challenges they’ve faced over more than a decade of active military engagements across the globe. The policies affecting their families should as well. This bill is a step in the right direction, and will provide more flexibility for families to make decisions that are best for them. I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
According to a study by the Military Officers Association of America, 90 percent of military spouses who are women are either unemployed or underemployed. More than half cite concerns about their spouse’s service as a deterrent for prospective employers. This bill will provide much-needed flexibility for families facing an ill-timed move, at no cost to the Department of Defense.
The Military Family Stability Act has garnered widespread support from major veteran service and military family organizations, including: the National Military Family Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the Military Child Education Coalition, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Blue Star Families, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the Veterans Support Foundation.
The Senate bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). Companion legislation was introduced by U.S. Representatives Joe Wilson (S.C.) and Susan Davis (Calif.).