Many issues surrounding quality of life and family well-being can only be addressed by states. Because of this, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness started the USA4 Military Families initiative. The DoD-State Liaison Office engages state policy makers, nonprofit associations, concerned business interests and other state leaders about the needs of military members and their families. By developing state and military partnerships, the DoD seeks to work with states to remove unnecessary barriers and significantly improve the quality of life for military families serving in the active force, in the National Guard and Reserve Component, and as they transition to civilian life.
How new issues are identified and selected
Each year, the Defense Department asks for help identifying new issues that could improve the quality of life of service members and their families. The DoD requests input from personnel and community support staff in the military services, Joint Staff, the National Guard Bureau, Office of the Secretary of Defense, military support organizations, veterans' services organizations and the general public through the Federal Register. After receiving all of the proposed issues, the DoD analyzes and ranks them to identify the top areas of concern. The final list is approved by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management and includes those issues that affect the largest number of people in the largest number of states to achieve the largest impact on the military community.
What happens after an issue is selected
After an issue is selected, the DoD-State Liaison Office works through its regional liaisons to engage and educate state policy makers and other state leaders about the issues and the needs of military members and their families, and how changes in state-level policies may improve the quality of life of military families.
How you can suggest new issues
The DoD-State Liaison Office has started the process of identifying the issues it will address through the USA4 Military Families initiative during fiscal year 2015. Your input can help improve the quality of life for all military families. If you can think of a time when you believe that military life may not have been considered in the application of a state law, and as a result, you felt the law was not evenly applied as compared to other citizens, the DoD-State Liaison Office wants to know.
Before submitting an issue, please take a look at the current issues that the USA4 Military Families initiative is already addressing. The USA4 Military Families website provides detailed information on the issues the DoD-State Liaison Office is currently focusing on, including the status for each state and identified best practices. You can submit your ideas through the USA4 Military Families Key Issue Feedback website.