Among military families, one pain point involves the military’s impact on quality of life: spousal employment, housing, and childcare are three main points. The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) through Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) announced the Quality of Life Panel.
Per their announcement, the panel would focus on these issues and more, including housing, compensation, health care, and support programs for spouses of service members. The committee would start with at least two hearings a month from officials from the Pentagon. The notes from these meetings would be made into a written report to the Military Personnel Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member to be made into a proposal for the FY 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Chairman Mike Rogers specifically stated, “I created the Quality of Life Panel to specifically focus on issues impacting the quality of life for our servicemembers and their families – there is absolutely no reason why any U.S. servicemember should have to worry about food or unsafe housing. I have no doubt that the hard work of this panel will lead to much-needed improvements across the Department of Defense to ensure that the needs of our service members and their families are fulfilled.”
Military Personnel Subcommittee Ranking Member Andy Kim (D-NJ) said, “Raising pay, improving TRICARE, addressing mental health, increasing access to childcare, expanding workforce development, and other efforts are needed. As the Ranking Member of the Military Personnel subcommittee, I’m glad we are standing up this Quality of Life Panel to ensure we are prioritizing people over hardware.”
The list of Pentagon officials and experts was not included in the press release. Within the National Capitol Region are two major organizations with their pulse on the needs of military families – National Military Family Association and Blue Star Families. National Military Family Association conducts research, data collection and analytics annually on multiple topics, including but not limited to health, education, employment and military children. Blue Star Families collects information across military branches from military families every year in their annual survey. While this data is shared with legislative leaders, this committee would also be a great location for this information.
Members of the Committee Include:
Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), Chairman
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC)
Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX)
Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-VA)
Rep. James Moylan (R-GU)
Rep. Mark Alford (R-MO)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), ex officio
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Ranking Member
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX)
Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-WA)
Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA)
Rep. Don Davis (D-NC)
Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), ex officio
Your voice matters! If your state isn’t represented in the committee but you want to share your concerns, find and contact your representative here.