May 18, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), along with U.S. Representatives Joe Wilson (S.C.) and Susan Davis (Calif.), yesterday introduced the bipartisan Military Family Stability Act. The measure would 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.
“Families are the backbone of our military,” Blunt said. “Making it easier for them to manage the challenges that come with military life is both a readiness and retention issue. This bill would address one of the major challenges I hear from military families: an ill-timed move that takes a child out of school or prevents a husband or wife from pursuing an educational or career opportunity. I’m encouraged by the bipartisan support we received for this bill last Congress, and I urge my colleagues to work with us to get it to the president’s desk.”
“When a service member moves to a new position, it can be an enormous burden for their family to find a new job or start at a new school in the middle of a semester,” Gillibrand said. “The Military Family Stability Act would give our military spouses and children the flexibility they need and deserve to adjust more easily when they have to move. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Blunt, and I will work to get this language into the Defense Authorization bill.”
“As the son of a World War II Flying Tiger, a 31-year retiree of the Army Reserves and South Carolina Army National Guard, and the grateful father of four sons who have served in the military, I know firsthand the challenges placed on the families of our service members,” Wilson said. “As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, I understand how critical the success and happiness of military families are to overall troop readiness and retention. Our common-sense legislation supports military families by giving them greater flexibility to plan for relocation—thereby increasing the overall well-being of military families.”
“Military families face many challenges, one of which is multiple moves across the country and even across the world,” Davis said. “Disrupting continuity and routine can increase stress and pressure on family life, leading to recruitment and retention issues. While multiple deployments are part of a career in the military, we can at least give military families the flexibility to determine how a relocation works best for them.”
For many military families, the cost of maintaining two residences to allow a spouse or child to finish a school year or complete a job is simply unfeasible. This bill would 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.