Military families move about every three years, but sometimes more frequently. The move is called a PCS, or permanent change of station. New ranks will often have additional education or training requirements, so service members will move to where they can get the schooling or experience necessary for their new role, and then to where there is a vacancy for their new role.
Although there are many challenges that come along with such frequent moves, this constant change helps foster adaptability and build resilience – an important quality in any member of any branch. This experience also helps service members develop a well-rounded perspective to be prepared for the unpredictability that may come in future military assignments.
Effects of Moving on Military Families
Frequent moves place a lot of stress on military families. Every few years, they are uprooted from their communities and have to leave their friends behind. Children have to adjust to a new school. Spouses have to leave their jobs and may be held back from advancing their careers –some may choose to forego a career entirely due to the challenges of frequent job changes and securing new childcare every time their family resettles. And although the Department of Defense subsidizes the moves, there are still costs that aren’t covered – think pet transportation fees, pantries of food and cleaning supplies, and clothing for new climates – that can add up quickly.
Strengthening Our Military Families
That’s where the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) comes in. With a deep understanding of the impacts these frequent moves have on our military families, the ASYMCA aims to provide the support, enrichment, recognition, security, independence and opportunities needed to improve the military family bond and alleviate the stress our nation’s heroes face, enabling them to better focus on their mission of service.
Military life presents unique challenges for the family unit and each individual member. The AYMCA provides services and programs specially designed to help junior-enlisted service members, their spouses and their children navigate military life amidst frequent transfers and deployments. By identifying and addressing gaps in services that pose a hardship to service members and their families—hardships that can negatively affect mission readiness – the ASYMCA works hard to strengthen our military families, holistically.
You can help the Armed Services YMCA continue offering our services at low or no cost.