Here’s How the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative Helps Military Families

Here’s How the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative Helps Military Families
A member of the Indiana National Guard supports volunteer workers distributing food in April. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Note from MOAA: Have you been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, or the response? Share your story to help MOAA understand the needs of the uniformed services community in this challenging time.


MOAA has joined forces with military support organizations and companies to provide resources and support to military families impacted by COVID-19.


As the coronavirus spread to the United States, military service organizations (MSOs) leapt to action to track the impact on military families and address issues that arise. Led by the Association of Defense Communities and Blue Star Families, the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI) is a group of over 40 military organizations and corporate partners with a collective focus on supporting the military and veteran community during the current public health crisis.


MOAA has provided subject-matter expertise to the CMSI policy committee and communicated gaps in military family support to legislators on Capitol Hill. The CMSI has been able to:

  • Address financial and logistical gaps created by the stop movement order, including modifications to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
  • Recommend targeted locations for expansion of commissary curbside grocery pickup.
  • Ensure child care fee assistance is available when families remove a child from care and need to hold their slot.
  • Secure TRICARE telehealth coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) parent/caregiver guidance services, with or without the child present.
  • Highlight food insecurity issues for military families exacerbated by COVID-19 and secure congressional champions on excluding Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) calculation.
  • Urge the services to allow transitioning servicemembers to delay transition if they so choose, a proposal mirrored in current Army and Marine Corps policy.


[DONATE: MOAA’s COVID-19 Relief Fund]

Additional resources and expertise provided by the CMSI, as listed on the group’s website, include:

  • Publishing a new daily newsletter with updates on the COVID-19 crisis at the local and national level, and on the military’s response.
  • Hosting virtual town halls on critical issues, and bringing together representatives of military community and family groups, as well as subject-matter experts, to discuss and promote best practices.
  • Recommending policies at the local, state, and national level that will benefit military families.
  • Seeking feedback by live polling to better understand “pain points.”


Make your voice heard! Share with CMSI how your family is staying resilient and coping with the COVID-19 crisis by completing the Resiliency Under Stress Study (RUSS).


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About the Author

Eryn Wagnon
Eryn Wagnon

Eryn Wagnon came to MOAA in May 2018 as a military spouse fellow sponsored by the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program. She joined the MOAA staff permanently in July 2018 as director, military family policy and spouse programs.