Encouraging Work Family Balance: Why The Department of Defense Needs A Family Medical Leave Act
Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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The most significant challenge the military will face is maintaining a qualified force that is ready to deploy at a moments notice. The typical service member demographic has changed over the last 25 years. There are more service members who are married, have children, are female, and are dual military. Despite the changes in the military make-up, policies which relate and impact those in these organizations have not changed. Due to this, the military will continue to have a difficult time maintaining unit readiness as more and more of its members are faced with family choices which, inadvertently, pit career ambitions against family needs. Giving service members the option to take non-chargeable family leave, if an issue arises, would help balance career and family responsibilities, resulting in increased job satisfaction along with resiliency and, therefore, increased retention. A Military Family Medical Leave Act MFMLA would give valuable personnel the flexibility to care for their family members in certain circumstances instead of forcing members to leave the service. This would reduce the loss of skill set and training investment these personnel represent, along with the promotion of resiliency throughout the organizations.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations