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NEWS | July 8, 2021

Survey provides insight into reserve component spouse satisfaction with military life

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense recently released the results of the 2019 Survey of Reserve Component Spouses. The survey is conducted every two years, and along with the Survey of Active Duty Spouses, represents the scientific “gold standard” of surveys intended to identify the needs of military spouses.  

The Survey of Reserve Component Spouses provides valuable insight into issues and trends among reserve component spouses. These findings help DOD better understand how its programs, policies, and resources might better support and impact this important demographic.

As part of the 2019 survey, more than 50,000 reserve component military spouses across Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve were invited to participate, with about 15 percent responding.

Survey topics covered many key indicators, to include spouse support to stay in the military, employment and finances, activation and deployment, reunion and reintegration, and spouse and child well-being. Because the survey was completed in 2019, the effects of COVID-19 were not captured in the survey.

Many findings, for example spouse health and financial status, have remained consistent since 2017, but are important indicators to understand.

“The survey shows that 62 percent of reserve component spouses indicated that their health is very good or excellent, and 68 percent of reserve component spouses reported that they are financially comfortable,” said Dr. Paul Rosenfeld, director of the Center for Retention and Readiness within the Office of People Analytics.

The survey also indicated that current levels of personal stress are higher than average at about 37 percent, and that stress and loneliness were concerns among National Guard and reserve spouses whose husband/wife had been deployed in the past 24 months. These themes are also reported among active-duty spouses.

“Understanding trends among spouses and what really matters most helps DOD improve and prioritize policies, programs and resources to help military families thrive,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Patricia “Patty” Montes Barron. “We are committed to engaging and listening to our military spouses. COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for us to reimagine processes for families and I want to ensure the voice we use is inclusive of military spouses.”

For important information about the military community, including survey results, infographics, research reports and demographics, visit Military OneSource.

About Military Community and Family Policy 

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing quality-of-life policies and programs that help our guardians of country, their families and survivors be well and mission-ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These Department of Defense services can be accessed 24/7/365 around the world.