About Military Community & Family Policy


The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for MC&FP is directly responsible for programs and policies that establish and support community quality of life programs for service members and their families worldwide. This office also serves as the focal point for coordination of the broad range of quality of life issues within the DoD. Specifically, the Deputate performs the following functions:

  • Provides for family support policies and programs in areas including family center operations, child care, youth programs, family advocacy, relocation, transition support services and support during mobilization and deployment (including casualty affairs)
  • Provides policy and management direction for dependents' education programs stateside and overseas to ensure educational services are uniform and high-quality
  • Establishes program policy for mission sustaining and basic community programs for Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and Voluntary and Post-Secondary Education
  • Coordinates the services of nonprofit agencies such as the Red Cross, Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association and the United Services Organization
  • Provides policy and program oversight to ensure military community quality of life programs are designed and executed to support the needs of the post-drawdown force and the DoD mission
  • Coordinates DoD oversight of the Armed Forces Retirement Home Board

Casualty, Mortuary and Memorial Affairs

The Casualty, Mortuary and Memorial Affairs Office provides oversight for policies and programs on benefits and resources for ill or injured service members and their families and the families of deceased service members.

Casualty Assistance

Available on every installation, the program provides authorized and necessary assistance to eligible family members of deceased, missing, ill or injured personnel.

Military Funeral Honors

Provided by the DoD, military funeral honors provide a final "thank you" to active duty fatalities and veterans who have defended the nation. Military funeral honors consist of, at a minimum, ceremonial folding and presenting of the American flag and the sounding of Taps.

Family Policy, Children and Youth

The Office of Family Policy, Children and Youth provides oversight for child development programs, services and support for geographically dispersed service members and families, youth financial readiness services, education programs that build skills for individual and family life development and partnerships with federal and non-federal entities to augment support for service members and their families.

Children and Youth

The Office of Children and Youth provides policy and budget support, conducts oversight and generates special initiatives addressing military youth. The DoD supports military children by providing a number of programs designed to address the specific challenges of military life and help children to thrive.

Community Support for Families with Special Needs

The Office of Community Support for Families with Special Needs ensures that military families with special needs receive direct services, assignment coordination and family support.

Family Advocacy Program

The Family Advocacy Program is the DoD social services program at every installation with command-sponsored families to address child abuse and domestic abuse in the military community. The program promotes public awareness and prevention, early identification, reporting, comprehensive and coordinated support to victims, and treatment for all family members when appropriate, in collaboration with civilian agencies.

Family Programs

The Family Readiness System is the network of agencies, programs, services and individuals, and the collaboration among them, that promotes the readiness and quality of life of service members and their families. The Family Readiness System includes services such as relocation assistance, emergency family assistance, non-medical individual and family counseling, deployment assistance, information and referral, personal financial management, spouse education and employment assistance, personal and family life education, outreach, exceptional family member support, domestic violence prevention and response, child abuse prevention and response services, transition assistance and volunteer coordination. The Family Readiness System is not limited to DoD programs. It also includes community, state and national resources.

Spouse Wellness

To help support military spouses in their educational and career efforts, the DoD offers the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Scholarship, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership and the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities. The MyCAA Scholarship is a workforce development program that provides tuition assistance to eligible military spouses. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership seeks to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses by providing opportunities to help them understand their skills; education and training to help them identify academic, licensing or credentialing requirements; employment readiness assistance to optimize their self-marketing skills and employment connections that help them find and maintain a rewarding career. The Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program is a comprehensive, holistic, spouse-centered program designed to address the unique combination of work-life interests and priorities of military spouses.

Military Community Outreach

The Office of Military Community Outreach is responsible for developing and implementing outreach tactics supporting MC&FP, communicating critical program and policy information to service members and their families, leadership, and service providers.

Military OneSource

Military OneSource provides service members and their families with access to a wide variety of resources and confidential support in order to weather the demands of military life. In an increasingly technological and mobile world, MilitaryOneSource.mil offers support 24 hours a day, telephonically as well as online.

Non-medical Counseling

The DoD is committed to the goals of encouraging self-initiated treatment, identifying care requirements early (to help reduce the need for complex forms of treatment) and reducing stigma by normalizing psychological health services. Military families can access confidential non-medical counseling at no cost through the Military and Family Life Counselor Program and Military OneSource. In both delivery methods, counseling is focused on life skills development to help prevent the development or exacerbation of mental health conditions that may detract from military and family readiness.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation

The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office is responsible for policies and programs for recreation, fitness, sports, cultural arts and other leisure activities, and the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Programs serve over one million authorized patrons at nearly 300 military installations in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Armed Forces Retirement Home

The Armed Forces Retirement Home is a one-of-a-kind independent federal agency established to care for veterans in three settings: independent living, assisted living and long-term care. Services include physical activities, health care, arts and crafts, dining, travel and social and cultural activities with campuses in Washington, D.C. and Gulfport, Miss.

Non-appropriated Fund and Resale Policy

The Non-appropriated Fund and Resale Policy Office is responsible for the oversight and policy governing the commissary and exchange benefits, operations and programs, which are among the most valued contributors to the quality of life of service members and their families.

Armed Services Exchange

Exchanges are retail stores operating on military installations worldwide. These include stores such as uniform shops, barbershops, laundry/dry cleaning, gas stations, fast food outlets, convenience stores and lawn and garden shops.


The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries and related household items to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, which covers the costs of modernizing and replacing existing commissaries.

State Liaison and Educational Opportunities

Through engagement and education of state policymakers, nonprofit associations, concerned business interests and other state leaders, the DoD-State Liaison Office works with states to remove unnecessary barriers and significantly improve the quality of life for military families. Through program and policy oversight, the Educational Opportunities Office supports the voluntary education requirements of one of the largest continuing education programs in the world.

Department of Defense-State Liaison

To help address state-level challenges impacting the quality of life of military families, the DoD created the DoD-State Liaison Office to engage and educate state policymakers, not-for-profit associations, concerned businesses and other state leaders. Through eight liaisons across the country, the DoD-State Liaison Office provide assistance to state leaders and concerned business in the form of identifying "best practice" legislation from other states and providing testimony as it is requested. The USA4MilitaryFamilies Initiative is the term used to describe the DoD's efforts to identify and address the most pressing needs of military families that are impacted by state policy.

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a program that assists and guides transitioning service members to begin new careers as academic or career technical public school teachers. Participants receive counseling on how to become certified as teachers and receive referral assistance.

Voluntary Education

The Voluntary Education Program Office provides policy and budget support and oversight for voluntary education programs, which offer degree programs through distance learning, traditional college and programs through installation off-duty education centers.



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