Family & Community

When is the Month of the Military Child, and what is the history behind it?

Published: 03/05/19 | Updated: 03/20/19

Although the term "total force" usually refers to the active, reserve and Guard, it could also stand for the service member, spouse and children. With that in mind, starting with Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger in 1986, the serving secretary of defense has designated each April as the "Month of the Military Child."

Our children are an inspiration and source of pride. It is fitting that we reflect and recognize the contributions and personal sacrifices our children make to our armed forces. Frequent moves and extended family separation make military life especially challenging. As we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, we offer our personal thanks to each armed forces family. Commands are encouraged to plan appropriate activities that will focus attention on issues concerning our children and our responsibility to them, as well as developing initiatives that will benefit military children now and for the future. Find out more at: