Single parents make up 7.8 percent of the entire military. (Powers, 2010) Being a single parent in the military does not make you exempt from duties that require you to be gone for long periods. As recent as February of this year, a single mother was discharge from the army because she had no one to care for her son. The military has a program set up called the family care plan, which ensures proper care of your child (ren) or other dependents while you are away on deployment or other duties.
As the military continues to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq, we continue to hear of single parents that failed to deploy because of childcare. The family care plan was created to prevent this problem. Family care plans were not mandatory until after Desert Storm/Shield. At that time, many single and dual military parents were not ready to deploy because of childcare. They were allotted time to find proper childcare, causing problems in the movement of soldiers overseas. In 1992, the Department of Defense (DOD) created DOD Instruction 1342.19, Family Care Plans, ensuring this problem does not happen again. (Powers, 2010)
The military also stopped enlisting single parents at that time. It states in Army Regulation 601-210, “Persons who are sole parents would be placed in positions, as any other Soldier, where they are required at times to work long or unusual hours, to be available for worldwide assignment, and to be prepared for mobilization, all of which would create conflicting duties between children and military requirements for the sole parent.” People, who are single parents and want to join the army, must not have custody of their child. If a single parent wishes to join the military, they have to give up custody either to the other parent or to another person.
. In the first enlistment, usually 3-4 years, the person is still adjusting to military life. During basic training and advanced individual training (job training), the person cannot just...