Joining Forces. About Joining Forces national initiative.
About Joining Forces, the initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr.Jill Biden to bring attention to the unique needs and strength of America’s military families
> About Joining Forces
The First Lady and Dr. Biden have met with military families, learned about their successes and challenges, and made it their priority to support them. Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.
- Brings attention to the unique needs and strength of America’s military families.
- Inspires, educates, and sparks action from all sectors of our society – citizens, communities, businesses, non-profits, faith based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government – to ensure veterans and military families have the opportunities, resources, and support they have earned.
- Showcases the skills, experience, and dedication of America’s veterans and military spouses to strengthen our nation’s communities.
- Creates greater connections between the American public and the military.
In this ongoing effort, they’re highlighting issues that are of special importance to the military families they have met with across the country, including the areas of employment, education, and wellness.
Employment. In many cases, military spouses move from one community to another when their spouses are assigned to new duty stations. These transfers can make it very difficult for spouses to continue with their careers or to find similar jobs in new locations.
- Highlights the workforce potential of veterans and military spouses;
- Expands employment and career development opportunities for veterans and military spouses; and
- Helps employers create military family-friendly workplaces
Education. Military children move frequently due to a parent’s reassignment. These moves can make it difficult to transfer records, secure spaces in courses, stay included in extra-curricular activities, and complete required testing on time.
- Supports the academic achievement of military children by helping schools become more responsive to the unique needs of military children and families; and
- Promotes and supports higher education institutions and programs that expand education opportunities, eases transferability for military-connected students, and expands job training opportunities for military spouses and veterans.
Wellness. The stress of war, multiple deployments, and frequent moves can affect the wellness of military families. Children and spouses can experience anxiety, changes in relationships with family and friends, isolation or emotional challenges in dealing with deployments, illness or injury, and high mobility.
- Calls attention to the critical issues facing veterans and military families; and
- Expands access to wellness programs, and resources for military spouses and families.
Joining Forces provides ways for all Americans to step up and show their gratitude to our service members and their families. Through this effort, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden ask Americans to do more for those who have done so much for us. They are highlighting outstanding American citizens, communities, and businesses that are supporting our troops and making commitments to serve our nation’s military families. They are asking Americans to get involved in any way they can.
> The Report: Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment
President Obama issued a government-wide review to bring together the resources of the Federal Government, identify new opportunities across the public and private sectors, and lay the foundation for a coordinated approach to supporting and engaging military families for years to come.
> Get Involved
1% of Americans may be fighting our wars, but we need 100% of Americans to be supporting our troops and their families. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden are asking Americans to get involved in any way they can.
“The spirit of service and selflessness that is seen in military communities across our country represents what is best about America, and as a Nation we owe our brave service members and their families more than gratitude – we owe them the support they have earned. Joining Forces will ask all Americans to take action, because each of us has a role to play in reconnecting with military families in our communities.” — First Lady Michelle Obama
Explore these ways to take action
Pledge service hours in honor of the service military families, veterans and service members.
Share Your Story of Support
How are you serving our nation’s military families? Tell us your story.
Have an idea to support military families in your community? Create a project and invite others to join.
For years, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have met with military families around the country and the world, learned about their successes and challenges, and made it their priority to support them.
First Lady Michelle Obama Introduces JoiningForces.gov
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden embark on a two-day U.S. tour to launch a national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families.
First Lady Michelle Obama visits Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana and as part of the Joining Forces Movie Series, Mrs. Obama welcomes local military families to a special screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.”
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with medical personnel before visiting Wounded Warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Nov. 11, 2010. LRMC is the largest American hospital outside of the United States and one of only two active trauma centers in the Department of Defense. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
First Lady Michelle Obama is briefed by Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling during a meeting with Army leadership to discuss the consequences of childhood obesity, poor nutrition, and lack of physical exercise on military readiness, at Fort Jackson Army Training Center in South Carolina, Jan. 27, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet service men and women, along with their families, during Christmas dinner in the mess at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kailua, Hawaii, Dec. 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with a man while touring the James J. Peters VA Medical Center with Dr. Jill Biden in Bronx, N.Y., Oct. 28, 2009. The First Lady and Dr. Biden’s visit to the medical center helped promote Welcomebackveterans.org, a charitable initiative sponsored by Major League Baseball and designed to support returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families with mental health treatment and job opportunities. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden listen as President Barack Obama unveils efforts to better coordinate and strengthen the federal government’s support for military families in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 24, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama meets with families of Wounded Warriors during a visit to the Wounded Warrior Center at Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 13, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Dr. Jill Biden addresses soldiers and their families during a welcome home ceremony for the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team returning from Iraq, at Fort Drum, N.Y., July 28, 2010. “In my travels to military bases across our country and abroad,” Dr. Biden said, “I have been truly overwhelmed by the courage of our men and women in uniform and inspired by the dignity and the sense of patriotism that our military families exhibit every day.” (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
First Lady Michelle Obama and Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher House, participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Bethesda National Naval Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Md., Dec. 2, 2010. The First Lady helped open three new Fisher House residences for families of ailing U.S. soldiers and veterans. The news residences provide free lodging for the families of as many as 60 sick and injured service members. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
* More about Joining Forces: http://www.joiningforces.gov and http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces
The White House
* The above story is adapted from materials provided by The White House