The Defense Department will soon begin advertising military family resources on privately owned websites, a top DoD official announced May 7.
"It's new that DoD is letting us engage in digital strategies and targeted outreach," said Rosemary Williams, the DoD's deputy secretary for family policy. "We need to be able to communicate with our community where they live and thrive online."
The advertising plan comes at the same time as a series of proposed budget cuts to military family programming and services. A DoD 2016 budget request, for example, looks to dismantle the current Tricare system and cut commissary funding by $1 billion over several years.
Officials were unable to say how much the outreach plan will cost the DoD, where, specifically, ads will appear or when they will be published.
Among the programs that will be advertised are financial readiness and counseling and a new parenting support program, Williams said. Both of those are available through the DoD's Military OneSource website which the department is planning to redesign by fall of this year, Williams said.
The new advertising initiative was approved in a memo by Defense officials May 6, Williams told Military.com.
“We were very pleased to receive approval to use targeted outreach approach to increase outreach and engagement with the military community. My office was directed to expand outreach work in a 2012 Resource Management Decision, 2012 DoD Instruction, Military Family Readiness Council recommendations to the Secretary of Defense and the recent Business Process and Systems Review," Williams said in a statement.
The advertising plan was announced at the Military Spouse Magazine annual town hall event in Crystal City, Virginia. About 100 military spouses and supporters attended the day long invite-only event as part of the annual military spouse awards. Military.com was an event sponsor.
Photo courtesy U.S. Army.