It’s that time of the year…Military Spouse of the Year®!
We love MSOY time and thoroughly enjoy reading about all of the deserving candidates nominated by their friends, family, loved ones, and employers throughout the US and abroad.
As the Joint Base Andrews Spouse of the Year for 2016 and 2017, I quickly became acquainted with the MSOY family…that’s right, it’s a family! This opportunity is important for military spouses in so many ways but one that stands out is the friendship, family, and community that grow as a result of this role. I can’t tell you how many times a question pops up and I post in our MSOY community and have dozens of replies from the most AMAZING milspos throughout the world to lend a hand, advice, or resources. The MSOY community is like no other and each candidate is so deserving of his or her award.
Military Spouse of the Year® is sponsored by Armed Forces Insurance, Verizon, AAFMAA, and Booz, Allen, & Hamilton. The Military Spouse of the Year® award recognizes military spouses’ important contributions and unwavering commitment to the military community and our country.
On May 9, 2018 Military Spouses from all over the world will gather together for a day of networking, celebration, and education. The event is open to ALL military spouses and will be held at the Bolling Club on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Past speakers have included R. Riveter, Brittany Boccher, Corie Weathers, Lakesha Cole, and Natasha Harth.
Military Spouse of the Year
“There are three phases of voting, culminating in the announcement of the Military Spouse of the Year® in Washington, D.C. in early May. The event attracts Congressional members, senior military, Department of Defense leadership, and military spouses from all over the world. We encourage all Americans to consider nominating their friends, neighbors, or colleagues for this prestigious award.” – Military Spouse Magazine
The Timeline is as follows:
- Meet the Candidates
- Base Vote Begins: Nominations are collected and organized per base, CG district, and state. The nominee with the highest popular vote at each base, district or state will be named the respective winner and advance for consideration in the Top 18 spouses. There will be a separate category to accommodate spouses who are not currently attached to a base (e.g. spouses on recruiting duty). In the event a base/district/state does not receive any votes for its candidates, that installation will not have a candidate for that year. The winner is based 100% on Popular Vote!
- Base Vote Ends
- Base Winners Announced
- Top 18 Announced: Nominees who have won their respective base, CG district, or state will continue to move on as candidates. The Top 18 Spouses of the Year will be decided based on the results of the popular vote from Round 1 and the MSOY Panel. These 18 candidates, three from each branch, will be eligible for the branch round of voting. The winners are weighed 25% on the popular vote from round one and 75% on votes from the MSOY Panel.
- Branch Vote: Nominees who advance to the Top 18 level will be eligible for the branch round of voting. After the Branch Level Vote, the highest combined score derived from the popular vote, the MSOY Panel and the Judge Advisory Panel will result in the six National level candidates. The winners are based 25% on popular vote, 25% of a judge advisory panel, and 50% of a MSOY Panel.
- Branch Winners Announced
- National Vote: Branch winners will then advance to the final round of voting. The 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year® will be selected based on the highest combined score derived from the popular vote, the Judge Advisory Panel, and the MSOY Panel. The National Winner will not be announced until May. The winner is selected 25% by popular vote, 25% by a judges advisory panel, and 50% by the MSOY Panel.
- Town Hall
- MSOY Awards
Stars and Stripes Doulas Candidates
“I am a wife to my Marine husband, Kurt. We have been married for 8 years and together have 3 fantastic children. This year I graduated with Honors with my Bachelor of Arts & Humanities in Emergency & Disaster Management. It was such an accomplishment to finally finish my degree after moving so much over the years for my husband’s career! Throughout our marriage and 7 moves, I have met some of the best friends through the military. I always try to stay engaged in the local community whether its military or civilian as there is always someone who needs some help! As Military Spouse of the Year, I would like to highlight the fact that the military spouse population is generally more educated and more often underemployed than their civilian counterparts. I would like to work to close this gap so that military spouses may gain sustainable employment. This mission shows in our Stars & Stripes Doulas business model very clearly! We hire only military affiliated doulas and we help them create a sustainable business that can move with them when they PCS or separate from the military. Being a military spouse myself who has often encountered issues with achieving employment that matched my skills and education, I wanted to help other spouses create a portable and sustainable career that they could be proud of and that could work around their chaotic military life! To this date, we have 11 military affiliated doulas on our teams around the country and I could not be more proud of the way that these military spouses have transitioned into professionals that have become the face of Stars & Stripes Doulas.” https://msoy.militaryspouse.com/contestants/melanie-binversie/
” My name is Melissa and I am a proud Navy spouse of eight years stationed at NAS JRB New Orleans. I am a mom to two boys ages 10 and 7 and a brand new foster mom anxiously awaiting our first placement. We also have a precious Great Dane, Justice, and two silly kitties, Batman & Robin. I wear many hats as a business owner, volunteer, mom, and military spouse and love how they define me uniquely in many ways. I am the co-owner of Stars and Stripes Doulas, LLC, a doula agency founded in 2016 with two goals: (1) to provide support to military families during pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and bereavement and (2) to employ military spouses and veterans. I am proud to say we have supported dozens of clients this year in Washington DC, Hampton Roads, Fort Riley, and New Orleans and look forward to supporting many more in the coming year. The most exciting accomplishment; however, has been gainfully contracting ten additional military spouses and veterans on our team. We are honored to provide a flexible and meaningful career opportunity for these spouses and veterans as they move throughout our great country. In addition to this, I work part-time intermittently for a company called Fireside Partners as a Humanitarian Emergency Liaison Program (HELP) Team Member. In this role I provide emergency response following an aviation accident or incident over the phone and in-person to family members affected by the tragedy. This highly emotional and rewarding career allows me to support families in their greatest time of need. The position is very similar to a military CACO. In 2016, I earned a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling from Liberty University and am currently taking a few extra courses to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. I use this specialized skill set in my career and also to provide volunteer services to several organizations: 1. I am an Ombudsman for Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Mid-Atlantic Det. New Orleans. I enjoy providing resources, encouragement, and support to our FRC families. 2. I am a Crisis Counselor and Resource Committee Member for Crisis Text Line where I provide 12+ hours per month of support to individuals in crisis ranging from suicide to grief to anxiety to domestic violence. I also help maintain and vet our resource list used by Crisis Counselors to best assist someone during their crisis. 3. I am the Membership Coordinator for Operation Special Delivery. OSD provides low-cost doula services to junior enlisted and deployed military families. I support the organization by devoting 10-20 hours per month managing our membership and providing feedback from a military perspective on the program. 4. I am the Military Support Coordinator for Postpartum Support Virginia. PSVa aims to provide hope and help to new mothers experiencing a Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD). I run a virtual Military Moms Support Group for spouses and veterans experiencing a PMAD and provide advice, referrals, and support to military families that contact Postpartum Support Virginia. As you can see, my passion and biggest accomplishments lie in helping others and I appreciate that the Military Spouse of the Year platform supports and recognizes the amazing things military spouses do for our communities. We are truly a diverse and passionate crowd and I love getting to know and witness these amazing accomplishments! As the Military Spouse of the Year I would love bring recognition to the military spouses that give so selflessly to our communities each and everyday. I would love to speak with organizations and employers and help them understand the asset that a military spouse would be to their team and encourage military spouse employment. I would also love to connect military spouses seeking employment with the partners featured on the Military Spouse Friendly Employers List and local resources that can help with resume preparation, job interview techniques and practice, and employment assistance.” https://msoy.militaryspouse.com/contestants/melissa-nauss/
“I was born and raised in Ohio, and attained my Bachlors of Science in Biology from the University of Charleston, WV. I married the love of my life in 2005 after meeting in our ROTC program, and we have 3 amazing children! I entered active duty in 2009, and served 4 years including a tour in Iraq and served as the Battalions Maintenance Officer. I am currently a Doula, supporting families going through pregnancy, Labor, and the Postpartum Time. I am also involved in our Post PWOC and Spouse Club, as well as the unit FRG program. With the Military Spouse of the Year title, I would hope to accomplish bringing awareness to the financial burden many military families face, when they struggle with living within BAH or providing a good education for their children. My goal would be centered on changing the rate averages to encompass a larger area around each base to help offset that financial burden from trying to provide a good education.” https://msoy.militaryspouse.com/contestants/megan-harless/