You Will Need A Waiver To Join:
As a civilian, I was intimidated by the waiver process because I did not understand exactly what it meant. Let me tell you, there are waivers for just about anything in the military!
A waiver is simply asking for an exception to the rule.
People get waivers for tattoos, age, height, criminal history, etc.
In your case, you are asking for an exception to the rule because you are joining with a child, or children.
Thats it! A WAIVER IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF!
Can A Single Parent Join The Military
September 8, 2021 | Keren Tayler
As a single parent, if youve decided that youd like to make a career shift and join the military, is this a viable option?
The military usually does not allow for single parents to do first-term enlistment if they have child custody. Military enrollees are supposed to be deployable, which does not gel with being the sole caregiver of a child. One of the only ways to enroll would be to transfer child custody to your ex-spouse or partner with proof of a court-ordered document.
If you want to learn even more about whether single parents can enlist in the military, then we recommend you keep reading. Ahead, well explain the militarys enrollment policy in great detail. Well also talk about commander discretion and when it applies.
Can Single Parents Join The National Guard
Single parents can join the National Guard but not the active duty military forces, according to a September 2009 article in “The New York Times.” The reason you can join the Guard is that positions are part-time as opposed to full-time as with active duty branches. You do have to provide a family care plan when you apply so the Guard command knows that you can effectively balance parenting responsibilities and job commitments.
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Tattoos Brands And Piercings
Airmen are subject to strict requirements and restrictions pertaining to body modifications. If you plan to get a tattoo or other body modifications, carefully consider placement, size and content before you proceed.
Tattoos, brands or piercings anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order and discipline, or of a nature that may bring discredit upon the Air Force, are prohibited both in and out of uniform. This includes modifications that are obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination. Even if rectified, excessive scarring resulting from tattoo removal may also be disqualifying.
Tattoos are not completely disqualifying, however. There are no size or area limitations for authorized tattoos on the chest , back, arms, and legs. Tattoos, brands, and body markings are prohibited on the head, neck, face, tongue, lips, and scalp. Hand tattoos are limited to one single-band ring tattoo, on one finger, on one hand.
What Happens After Deployment
Your plan and schedule can resume when the military parent comes back from deployment or you can create a new plan and schedule.
You may want to include provisions in your plan about making changes to the plan when the military parent is away. Your plan can state that there can be no changes to the parenting plan made while the military parent is deployed.
The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act protects the legal rights of servicemembers when they are called to active duty. The act provides a stay of court and administrative proceedings if your military service affects your ability to proceed in the case. If a civilian spouse tries to change the child custody status and parenting plan while a servicemember is deployed, the servicemember can invoke this act to postpone the hearing.
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Height And Weight Standards
The Air Force does not offer a weight reduction program. Currently, all applicants must meet a weight requirement based on their height. Please refer to the table below.
For pilot and aircrew positions, height specifications vary by aircraft, and most applicants can successfully pursue a career in aviation with the U.S. Air Force. Applicants who are significantly taller or shorter than average may require special screening to ensure they can safely perform operational duties. Applicants of all heights are encouraged to apply.
You Get Paid While In Training:
Here is a breakdown of what you may get paid AS A SINGLE PARENT while you are in training:
- BASE PAY: This is determined by the term of your enlistment .
- BAH: You will only get paid BAH if you are still obligated to pay rent/mortgage for the house that your child is staying in while you are away. BAH is determined based off of your rank and where you live.
- The Air Force will pay you $250 per month for being separated from your child.
I recommend speaking with your recruiter to understand what YOU will be paid based on your circumstances.
I hope this helps! If you have ANY questions, please feel free to leave a comment below
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Affordable Cost Of Living
In addition to the military providing housing if you live on base, it will also provide subsidiaries if you live off base. This can help to make the cost of living cheaper. Additionally, Strong stated subsidies are offered for groceries off base, and the necessities, such as food and gas, are cheaper on base. This can help families to save money and make living more affordable for a larger family.
Over 30000 Single Mothers Serving In The Military Their Options Are Not Easy When They Are Deployed
Its no secret that there are fewer women than men in the U.S. military, and even fewer mothers, but is that policy or punishment?
The government prohibits single parents from enlisting in all branches of the armed forces except for the Army National Guard, which keeps a lot of mothers from joining up. In the past, women have tried to get around the ban by giving up custody of their children until after basic training. New requirements in each branch make that strategy obsolete, though. The Marine Corps requires those who give up custody of their children to wait an additional year or more before being eligible for enlistment. In the Navy, the waiting period is six months and the custody transfer must be made permanent by court-order.
The militarys policies on enlistment are far from sympathetic to single parents, but a small amount of consideration has been given to mothers recently. As Former Army cook Alexis Hutchinson dodged deployment to Afghanistan so she wouldnt have to place her child in foster care, the Army deferred a court-martial for an other-than-honorable discharge, reducing her to Private and eliminating her benefits.
In the latest totals from the Joint Economic Committee https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/, about 220,000 women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. About 40 percent of those active-duty women, or almost 85,000, are mothers. Out of those, at least 30,000 are single moms.
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New Parent Support Program
The New Parent Support Program helps military parents, including expectant parents, provide a nurturing environment for their children. Services include prenatal classes, parenting classes, home visits, playgroups and, if needed, referrals to other resources. The program services are available at no charge for active-duty service members, including National Guard and reserve, and their families.
Another great resource for new and expectant parents is the Military OneSource New MilParent specialty consultation. Access expert advice on parenting issues including sleep challenges, potty training, single parenthood, child care and more.
Other Military OneSource general parenting resources include:
Other Opportunities In The Reserves
Like most Reservists, Army and Marine Reserve soldiers serve close to home and train for one weekend each month to keep their abilities sharp in case they need to be deployed. To join the Marine Reserves, candidates must be between 18 and 29 years old, and undergo 12 weeks of Recruit Training. Candidates between 18 and 41 years old are eligible to join the Army Reserve, and complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training. However, Army Reservists serve two full weeks of active duty each year, in addition to going active when the Service is in need.
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Can Single Fathers Join The Military
Given what we know about which parent typically is awarded child custody, we can safely say that single fathers will become the primary custodian in only 10 percent of cases.
Since sole custody is the main obstacle between a single parent and the military, once this obstacle is removed, theres no reason a single father wouldnt be able to join the military.
Enlisting As A Single Parent Navy
I’ve seen all kinds of answers, and I’ve had one recruiter tell me I only need a family care plan and I can go active duty and another tell me I can only join reserves with custody of my child.I am NOT giving up custody of my daughter. I want to know my options, preferably if someone knows Navy recruiters.I want to join Navy, active duty. My mom is a stay at home wife and she will gladly raise my daughter while I am on active duty. I am single. I only have one child. I got a high score on my ASVAB, and my recruiter said I could apply for Nuclear engineering with my score! I understand I will have to be away from my daughter for a long period of time. I am willing to sacrifice 5 years to give her the good life. The reason I don’t want to give up custody is because I want my daughter to have benefits, such as a good school and health insurance, as well. I’ve heard many stories of single moms having their children on base with them, but I imagine they were enlisted before bearing children.I would love to hear from a single parent who was able to enlist active duty without giving up custody? Is it possible to enlist with a good family care plan?
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If You Have Enough Support Enlisting As A Single Parent Is Possible
If youre determined to enlist and you have a very healthy relationship with your childs other parent, giving up physical custody might be a reasonable option. Grandparents or other close relatives are solid options too, as long as theyre willing to become full legal guardians. As long as theyre on board, its an option worth considering.That said, once you relinquish custody, theres no going back. Youre handing over your voice as a parent to someone else, so it had better be someone you trust, and someone who fully supports your decision to enlist.
Joining The Coast Guard As A Single Parent
While the Coast Guard does not fall under the Department of Defense, it still has rules regarding single parents signing a service commitment.
The Coast Guard will not allow single parents with dependents to sign up for active duty.
However, if there is a proper family plan in place, a waiver may be available for the Coast Guard Reserves.
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Can Single Mothers Join The Military
According to an article from The Veterans Site, throughout the US, more than 30,000 single mothers currently serve in the military. Besides the single mothers quoted above, another 85,000 are married mothers.
From 2001 onward, of all the service people in Iraq and Afghanistan, roughly 220,000 of them were women, the site also notes.
How likely is it that a single mother would be accepted to serve in the military? If she currently holds child custody, then for many military organizations, the answer is zero percent.
Why is it that some military organizations allow single parents to enroll and others dont?
When joining military branches that welcome single moms, you will first be expected to legally relinquish custody of your child. Thats a big ask of anyone, hence why the Army, etc. will just bar single parents outright.
Attorney Emy A. Cordano states that mothers receive child custody in 90 percent of cases, which is an astonishingly high rate.
Thus, its safe to assume that nearly any single mother who wanted to join the military would have to decide whether she wanted to give up custody first.
Single Parents In The Marine Corps And Navy
In the Marine Corps, one must give up legal custody of their child, and then wait one year or more before being eligible for enlistment. For Navy enlistments, the waiting period is six months and the court order must make it very plain that the transfer of custody is permanent. Typically, custody given to grandparents of the dependent child is an acceptable option.
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For Solo Moms No Easy Path To The Military
Image credit: Shutterstock.com
What Solo Moms need to know about joining the military
For a Solo Mom looking for a new career, military life might seem attractive. The military offers a chance to serve your country, training in valuable skills, opportunities to advance, and good pay and benefits, to name just a few of the pluses. However, there is one huge barrier that will keep many Solo Moms from enlisting.
The 15 years of protracted combat since 9/11 have put an immense strain on our military. In particular, the negative effects of extended and multiple deployments on soldiers and their families became evident. The fallout from issues related to child care caused the military to require family care plans for all soldiers who are single parents. A family care plan describes how a soldiers dependents will be cared for while the soldier is deployed.
Family care plans apply to those who are already deployed. But what if you are a Solo Mom who is thinking about joining the military? With the exception of the Army National Guard, which allows you to enlist if you receive a waiver from your states attorney general, none of the armed forces will accept single soldiers.
What does this mean for the Solo Mom, and are there any exceptions? The bottom line is that to enlist today, you would need to formally relinquish custody of your children.
Are you or have you been a Solo Mom in the military? Wed love to hear about your experience!
Updating The Family Care Plan
In many situations, U.S. servicemembers are required to create a Family Care Plan, which describes who will care for their children or other dependents upon deployment. Military parents should update their Family Care Plan so it matches the information in their parenting plan. This ensures a smooth transfer for the child if the military member is deployed.
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When Will I Receive Fee Assistance
When will I receive a response from Child Care Aware® of America?
You will receive a response about the status of your application within 3-5 business days from the submission of your application.
When will I receive approval for fee assistance?
The processing time for your application may vary and is dependent upon the timely submission and receipt of ALL family and child care provider documents required to approve your application or recertification.
When are fee assistance payments made?
Fee assistance is paid to the provider at the end of the month within 7-10 business days of Child Care Aware® of Americas receipt of the completed attendance sheets.
What Military Organizations Say About Single Parent Enrollment
Besides the potential for career advancement, there are plenty of reasons why a single parent might consider joining the military.
After all, the military offers family counseling, childcare services, tax breaks, family advocacy programs, and relocation assistance that are very attractive to a freshly single parent whos starting a new chapter in their life.
Yet if youre a first-time enlister of the military and you have sole custody of your child, you more than likely cannot join.
The reason the military discourages single parents with sole custody from enrolling is that as an active military member, at any point, you can be deployed.
When youre deployed, you could be sent to warzones and other dangerous areas, often for months at a time if not longer.
As the court-appointed primary caregiver of your child, its your responsibility to care for them, which you usually cannot do when deployed.
Lets discuss the various branches of the military and their stance on accepting single parents as enrollees.
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Is The Policy Fair
It may sound harsh, but the no single parent policy is there for a reason. The military relies on its members to report for duty wherever, whenever, without hesitation. They dont have time to excuse a service member who cant deploy because something came up with their kids. For that reason, they need to have legal assurance that your commitment to serve is your top priority.
Parents who are already on active duty when they get divorced arent completely exempt from these regulations. They have to establish a Family Care Plan guaranteeing that someone non-military is ready and willing to care for your child 24/7 without notice. If they dont, theyre discharged.
Admittedly, newly single military parents have more leeway in comparison to single parents who hope to enlist, but theres a reason for that, too. If youre already on active duty, youve already demonstrated that someone else is available to care for your kids. For new recruits, its more of a gamble.