What's important to you and your military family? Make your concerns known by participating in the Blue Star Families annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which is open through May 19.  

Active-duty service members, veterans and family members are eligible to participate in the anonymous survey, which takes about 30 minutes to complete. The findings and analysis of the survey will be released in November; click here to participate.

Questions cover participants' top concerns, their satisfaction with the military lifestyle and benefits, and other topics. In 2016, military pay, changes to retirement benefits and military spouse employment were the top concerns, according to the more than 8,300 respondents who participated.


The survey "provides those serving with the rare, but crucially important, opportunity to share what's really going on inside military families," said Cristin Orr Shiffer, senior adviser for research and policy at Blue Star Families, in a statement announcing this year's survey. The results provide feedback to national decision-makers on the current state of the military family, she said. 

This is the eighth year of the survey, and the fourth year that it has been conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

"Understanding the state of military families helps our nation, our neighbors, and our leaders recognize the true cost of maintaining the strongest and most effective all-volunteer force," Shiffer said. 

Karen Jowers covers military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times. She can be reached at kjowers@militarytimes.com.