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The National Military Family Association (NMFA), headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private non-profit association organized to improve the quality of family life of all military personnel.
NMFA was organized in 1969 as the National Military Wives Association by a group of wives and widows seeking financial security for survivors of uniformed service personnel and retirees. From their efforts, the Survivor Benefit Plan came into being. In the ensuing years, NMFA has been in the vanguard of advocacy for improvements in the quality of military family life. The name of the organization was changed in 1984 to reflect the broad scope of its involvement. NMFA is a non-profit 501(c)(3).
NMFA has members from all ranks of the seven uniformed services worldwide and their families. Its Board of Governors, which includes active duty service members, reserve component, retirees and spouses, sets the policies, approves the issues, and oversees operations. Governors and officers receive no financial compensation, and volunteers assist in carrying out NMFA programs. It is also supported by distinguished Board of Advisers. NMFA receives significant support at the top levels of the Services and works regularly on common concerns with The Military Coalition, an umbrella organization of 36 military-related associations.
NMFA activities revolve around programs to educate the public, the military community, and the Congress on the rights and benefits of military families, as well as advocate for an equitable quality of life for those families.
Members of the Government Relations Department study issues, testify before Congressional committees, work with Congressional staff and represent NMFA on advisory groups for many Department of Defense agencies, to include the Defense Commissary Agency Patron Council and the TRICARE Beneficiary Panel.
Since its inception in 1969, the effectiveness of NMFA is reflected in accomplishments in most of the issue areas in which the association works. These include medical and dental benefits, dependent education, retiree and survivor benefits, relocation and spousal employment. NMFA staff speaks regularly to all types of groups, including family service organizations, Commanders' Conferences, and officer and enlisted spouse clubs.
NMFA sponsors a military spouse scholarship program, as well as the NMFA Very Important Patriot Award, which recognizes outstanding volunteers in the military community, and the NMFA Family Award, which recognizes families that exemplify the best of the military lifestyle.
In 2004, it published an analysis of military family support, entitled Serving the Homefront: An Analysis of Military Family Support Since September 11, 2001.
NMFA sponsors Operation Purple Camps for children of deployed service members in many U.S. military communities around the world.
NMFA's The Voice for Military Families is dedicated to providing information to and representing the interests of family members of the uniformed services. Its website provides extensive information for military families and those who service them. Additionally, NMFA publishes a monthly newsletter, as well as a weekly legislative e-mail newsletter, the Government and You E-News.