Each year, Military Appreciation Month is celebrated in May. And you may remember that Month of the Military Child is celebrated each year in April. But as we acknowledge the sacrifices of military service members -- and their children -- it’s also important that we take a day to appreciate the military spouses who stand by their partners in good times and bad.
Learn more about Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2022.
About Military Spouse Appreciation Day
Military Spouse Appreciation Day is recognized each year on the Friday before Mother’s Day. This year, Military Spouse Appreciation Day is Friday, May 6.
The history of Military Spouse Appreciation Day goes back to the year 1984 when President Ronald Reagan was in office. This was the first year that Military Spouse Appreciation Day was formally recognized. Since then, the sitting U.S. president has traditionally proclaimed the special day, and oftentimes, celebrations are held on bases and military communities around the country and the world.
“There is another group which deserves special thanks—the wives of our servicemen, wives who take care of the families and raise the children while their husbands are at sea or stationed far away, and wives who have left our shores to be in a faraway land with their husbands … Their contribution is critical … The understanding and encouragement they give our servicemen is something we must all be grateful for.” — Ronald Reagan
Whether they’re military husbands or wives, we certainly honor and appreciate all military spouses — every day of the year.
The Life of a U.S. Military Spouse
With Military Spouse Appreciation Day being held near Mother’s Day, it may seem safe to assume it’s because military spouses are often mothers. However, not all military spouses are female -- there are many military husbands in addition to military wives, and all military spouses’ contributions to their service member spouse, family, and country are valued and appreciated.
Here are some interesting statistics about U.S. military spouses.
- About 50% of military members are married and 39% have children. (Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families)
- 92% of military spouses are women. (U.S. Department of Labor)
- 5% of servicemembers are in a “dual-military marriage,” meaning both partners are servicemembers. (Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families)
According to the Department of Labor, the unpredictable lifestyle that comes with being a military spouse can make it more difficult to commit to a job or transfer their licenses across state or country lines. This can often be a concern or cause of stress within a military family.
We at Armed Forces Bank understand this, and that’s why we’re a founding partner of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
Supporting Our Nation’s Military Spouses
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses.
MSEP is part of DoD's broader Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) initiative, which seeks to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses by providing:
- Career exploration opportunities to help them understand their skills, interests, and goals;
- Education and training to help them identify academic, licensing, or credentialing requirements that can help them reach their career goals;
- Employment readiness assistance to optimize their self-marketing skills; and
- Employment connections that help them find and maintain a rewarding career
While military spouses are well educated and highly qualified for a range of careers, they face a 24% unemployment rate and a 25% wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts.
Seventy-seven percent of these spouses want or need work, yet frequent relocation is often a barrier to finding and maintaining a rewarding career. The inability of spouses to obtain and retain fulfilling employment as they relocate with the military compromises the quality of life of military families and the readiness of the military force.
MSEP offers a targeted recruitment and employment solution, creates employment connections that provide agencies with direct access to military spouses seeking career opportunities and spouses with direct access to employers who are actively recruiting.