On December 1, 2020, the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Athena Leadership Project held a roundtable to discuss caregiving in the military. Caregiving can place unique burdens on service members given the demands of a military career, burdens that disproportionately affect women. Additionally, the family unit has changed substantially in the past few decades, potentially outpacing existing work/life policies. This includes trends toward later marriage and parenthood, more dual-income couples, multi-generational households, and an increase in the number of single parents, while those in the "sandwich generation" may be caring for both children and aging parents. Identifying ways to better support troops who are trying to juggle competing demands is an increasingly high priority. As the military seeks to retain top-tier talent in an increasingly diverse America, we will discuss those burdens in the context of how the military can better support individuals, particularly women, and families.
Athena Leadership Project directors Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, PhD and Kyleanne Hunter, PhD led a powerful discussion on the lived experiences of panelists MSgt Elizabeth Delellis, USMC (Ret); MSgt Tonya James, USMC (Ret); LCDR Alison Maruca, USNR; and Maj Frances Mercado, USAF.