A panel of advisers will in February be giving the Defense Department and Congress their official, much researched advice on which of our benefits should stay and which should go. The problem? They haven’t asked the spouses and family members what they think is important.
It’s not the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission's (MCRMC) fault, really. When they were ordered into existence by Congress they were tasked only with officially communicating with service members and retirees. That means the broad survey they’ve put out can’t be taken by family members. And as much as they’d like to, they can’t officially take our pulse.we hosted a fascinating session where we asked you, the participants, to rank the benefits most important to you.
Now the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) is doing something similar, but on a much larger scale. Their survey, which you can take here, is open to all DoD affiliated respondents who can access the internet.
I took the survey before writing this article. Rather than multiple choice, it lets you input your own thoughts, answers and concerns. That seemed about right to me – every military family is different. That said, I gave very short answers, and it took me about 10 minutes from start to finish. The MFAN folks advertise it as taking about 15 minutes.
So what is going to be done with the information? MNFA will be aggregating all of our various responses and sharing it with the MCRMC folks by late fall. That way, officials with MNFA said, it can be included in the panel’s official recommendation to Congress.
As of this writing, about 800 people had taken the survey, they said. Since they are looking for about twice that, they are going to leave it open for a few more weeks.