NORFOLK, Va. — Fewer military, veterans and spouses are likely to recommend military service than they were a few years ago.
According to a new survey of more than 8,600 participants by the Military Family Advisory Network, the percentage of respondents who said they would recommend military life dropped from 74.5% in 2019 to 62.9% in 2021.
Some key family well-being findings may explain why.
The survey showed that 60.9% of respondents say they carry the burden of paying more than they can comfortably afford for housing.
Additionally, 51.2% stated that they have had trouble saving money over the past two years, and 57% have experienced financial emergencies in the past.
And, 18.4% of currently serving families said they're experiencing food insecurity, with 9.6% experiencing hunger.
"And it's alarming, truly, that families are struggling to make ends meet," said Gabby L'Esperance, MFAN's Director of Research and Program Evaluation. "We saw an 11% drop in military family respondents' likelihood to recommend military service to somebody who's considering it. This is a concern for the future of the all volunteer force.
The results come at very time that the military branches are facing major challenges in meeting their 2022 recruiting and retention goals.