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When the military decides where to move a military family, a Permanent Change of Station or “PCS”, a family’s identities and composition are rarely taken into account during that process. Sometimes, a PCS will put that family – especially families of color – into hostile locations and ineffective support services.

Something must change. No magic wand can solve racism in America. But there are policy solutions that could give military families more agency over their journey to ensure safety, dignity, and quality of life.

Policy Recommendations

The SFI Caucuses respectfully request the following slate of policy recommendations to be incorporated in the 2024-2025 National Defense Authorization Act:

  • Each branch reports on opportunities within existing assignment processes for service members to raise safety concerns, no matter their rank or job. 

  • Compassionate Reassignment usage data be reported back to Congress for assessment.

  • The Department of Defense (DoD) makes existing data sets regarding safety in communities where service members may be assigned available to military families. 

  • DoD school liaisons be properly equipped and trained to handle issues relating to racism and discrimination. 

  • Every military family has the right to educational stabilization programs, to include guaranteeing the same access in every branch. 

  • Research on screening tool for service members and their families to identify adverse health effects caused by racial discrimination. 

Our Stories

Our Caucus members provide examples from their actual lived experiences to provide examples of what these these policies could prevent or mitigate for the broader military community. 
Marla Bautista
Army Spouse
Shalena Critchlow
Military Mom
Brandi Jones
Marine Corps Spouse
Khiet Ho
Marine Corps Spouse
Ellie Walker
Coast Guard Spouse
Erin Anhalt
Retired Navy Spouse
Daniella Horne
Army Veteran + Navy Spouse
Vivian Lee
Retired Navy Spouse

Secure Families Initiative is gathering information to accurately tell the story of military families of color. There is power in sharing our stories – it enables us to provide concrete examples of how policy can directly impact and improve our lives.

Do you have an example of how race has impacted your experience at a duty station or during a PCS? 

Why This Matters

Where families are stationed can have a profound impact on their personal experience and overall safety. One in five active-duty service members of color, and 10% of active-duty spouses of color reported being subject to racial slurs at least five times since January 2020. Military families of color are also just as likely as their civilian counterparts to experience racial profiling from police and, sadly, one in three Black military respondents reporting being profiled by military or civilian law enforcement at least once since January 2020.

This is a recruitment and retention problem. More and more families are deciding to leave the service (and not recommend service to others) as a result of low confidence that their family will be safe.

SFI Caucuses

As part of Secure Families Initiative’s commitment to  elevating all voices within our military community and learning from our different lived experiences, SFI houses caucuses for members who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color. 

There are currently four SFI Caucuses: AAPI Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Indigenous Caucus. These dynamic groups of military spouses and loved ones meet regularly for community-building, strategic brainstorming and policy-crafting. The Caucuses joined forces to work together on a legislative campaign to improve the lives of all military families of color. The result is this PCS Safety Campaign.

Join the Campaign for PCS Safety

All are welcome to take action with us! When you join the Campaign, you will receive legislative updates, opportunities to share your stories, and important actions to move our issues forward.

Are you an ally, have you witnessed racism in our community, and/or have you experienced it yourself? Join us to make change.