Feature   Know Your Military

DOD: Best Time to Take Military Spouse Survey is Now

Sept. 17, 2021 | BY C. Todd Lopez , DOD News

Back in July, the Defense Department released the Active Duty Spouse Survey — something it does every two years. In the past, the survey was available by invitation only to a select few military spouses. But not this year.

A man in a military uniform handles the cables attached to a woman who is in civilian clothing.
Rappel Wrapup
Army Staff Sgt. Terriance Hamilton of the 3rd Sustainment Command helps a spouse disconnect from the rappel tower during No Ordinary Spouse Day at Fort Knox, Ky., April 12, 2013.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin
VIRIN: 130412-A-RJ696-010

Through late October, all spouses of active-duty military members — more than 600,000 of them — can visit the OPA Survey Portal and tell the Pentagon what they think about being 'married to the military.'

The results of the survey will be used to give Pentagon decision-makers a better idea about how they can adjust family policy and programs in the coming years — especially in relation to military benefits, financial stability, spouse employment, child care, and the overall health and well-being of spouses, children and families.

A woman touches the fingertips of another woman.
Product Demo
Adrea Facio, a military spouse on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., demonstrates her nail products to Cheryle Magorno at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., Nov. 11, 2013.
Photo By: Marine Corps Pfc. Garrett White
VIRIN: 131113-M-DQ243-640C

"Leadership across the DOD takes the [survey] seriously," said Eddy Mentzer, the associate director for strategic initiatives within DOD's military community support programs office. "From the office of the secretary of defense to the military service headquarters, [survey] results are shared and utilized to shape future programs and resources. The survey results are also shared outside the DOD with Capitol Hill and the White House."

This year, some military spouses will still get mail and/or email invitation to participate. Those spouses will get a "ticket number" they can enter to begin the survey. All military spouses can get a ticket number by selecting "click here" at www.DODsurveys.mil. The DOD ID number on the back of the spouse's common access card, along with the date of birth, will be used to access the survey.

Children and adults are seated in a room.
Farewell Ceremony
Family members watch a farewell ceremony at the Fort William Henry Harrison Reserve Center gymnasium in Helena, Mont., Sept. 7, 2019.
Photo By: Army Master Sgt. Ryan C. Matson
VIRIN: 190907-A-LD390-244D

While some military spouses will remain silent about life being married to an active-duty service member, others will want to let the Pentagon know directly what's grinding their gears. Mentzer said more spouses should let military leadership know what's going on in the trenches at home.

"While military spouses share common experiences, each military spouse has a unique story," Mentzer said. "Military life can result in a number of challenges. By allowing their voice to be heard and sharing their experiences, military spouses can ensure they are able to have a voice in the future programs that support them."

A woman hangs from a wooden bar.
Obstacle Course
Karen Wheeler, the wife of Army Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Wheeler with the 3rd Sustainment Command, completes an obstacle course during No Ordinary Spouse Day at Fort Knox, Ky., April 12, 2013.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin
VIRIN: 130412-A-RJ696-006C

According to the Defense Department's Office of People Analytics, which is conducting the survey, the data collected is reported in aggregate to protect the identity of participants. That aggregate data will eventually be made available publicly so participants can see how other military spouses responded. Information from the 2019 survey is available online at the link below.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Office of People Analytics Survey Portal

2019 Survey of Active Duty Spouses: Infographics