Much is made about the statistics of the U.S. Armed Forces – how many members, where they are stationed, what equipment they are deployed with, just to name a few. In fact, the U.S. military relies on effective intelligence regarding its military to ensure quick and efficient performance in the field.
For military families, the same may be true. By understanding the facts and figures about life married to a member of the military, both spouses and children can benefit from a view of the bigger picture of what it means to be part of a military family.
Marrying a servicemember
While some statistics about military families may seem fairly predictable, others run counter to the common images of servicemembers and their spouses. For example, 80 percent of all partners of servicemembers are women 35-years-old or younger. On the other hand, only 5 percent of military spouses are men.
This may fall in line with a preponderance of men in the Armed Forces, but a surprising number of active duty members – more than 50 percent – are married. The numbers is slightly greater for enlisted personnel – 53 percent – and even higher for officers – 65 percent.
Of course, there are rare cases where both spouses of a military family are active duty servicemembers. These military families make up 6.7 percent of all marriages in the Armed Forces.
The military family unit
Spouses only make up one part of the military family, however, and 38.7 percent of all families have married parents caring for children as opposed to 5.2 percent of single parents. The average family is 2.4 members, and the average age for children is weighted toward the younger side. Families with children ages 0 to 5 comprise 37.5 percent of the demographic, ages 6 to 11 account for 30.4 percent and ages 12 to 18 make up 24.9 percent of military children.
Living a military life
Military families may experience different life events than the rest of the population, with the time between relocations due to base closures or deployments occurring every two to three years on average.