Joining Forces Blog

  • The Lincoln Awards: Stepping Up for Our Veterans & Military Families

    Nearly 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address. He declared our nation’s pledge “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan.”

    This week at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the first-ever Lincoln Awards recognized individuals and organizations for their impactful contributions to and continued support for our nation’s veterans and military families.

    The two-day celebration concluded with an all-star concert, kicked off by Dr. Jill Biden:

    As a military mom, there is nothing more special to see -- and to recognize -- than a community of people coming together for our nation’s veterans. And not just to support veterans, but to inspire others to go to their strengths, and find ways that they, too, can make a difference in the lives of these heroes.

    One thing we say in my family is that our country has one sacred obligation -- to equip those we send to war, and to care for them and their families when they return.

    First Lady Michelle Obama and I started the Joining Forces initiative to show our appreciation for those who serve -- because we want every veteran to get the care they have earned, the skills they need, and the employment opportunities they deserve.

    No, not every American wears the uniform, but every American can rally around those who have. That’s what the Lincoln Awards celebrate.

    God bless our troops. God bless those who care about them, and care for them.

  • Dr. Jill Biden and Master Sergeant Cedric King on the Meredith Vieira Show

    For the past six years, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden have invited wounded warriors and their families to dinner at the Vice President’s Residence. One of their guests this past year was Master Sergeant (MSG) Cedric King.

    In the summer of 2012, MSG King was on a mission with his platoon in Afghanistan when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that resulted in him losing two limbs and sustaining multiple other injuries. But, his story doesn’t end there. MSG King found the strength and motivation to not only recover, but to persevere after a tragic event. His resiliency is an inspiration.

    On Tuesday, Dr. Biden and MSG King appeared on the Meredith Vieira Show to discuss the efforts by Joining Forces to support those who have sacrificed so much for our country. The two also shared what MSG King’s road to recovery has been like not only for him, but for his family after he sustained life altering injuries.

    See the full video segment here

    "The thing that’s special about the military, I think, is that we’re all a family.” –Dr. Biden


  • Your Military Money Matters

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Defense's blog. See the original post here.

    Whether you’re a newbie recruit or an old salt, managing your money takes some time and attention. Despite the regular paycheck, it doesn’t happen on its own. Forgive the pun, but the effort will pay off.

    As a service member, there’s basic pay, travel pay, hazardous duty pay, cost-of-living allowances and much more. Then there are deductions, bills, rent or mortgage payments, and somehow making sure there’s money to set aside for holiday overspending, unexpected expenses, college and retirement. Life happens. It might seem overwhelming, but help is available, free, and easy to access, no matter what stage of your military career you are in.

    There are too many important reasons to list when it comes to taking charge of your finances. Your career is one reason. When your finances are in order, you’re able to focus on the mission.

    Let’s get started.

  • The Year in Review: Our 5 Favorite Joining Forces Moments of 2014

    The First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden Joining Forces 2014

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden sit with Major General Jim McConville during the Joining Forces initiative event with service members, military spouses, and employers at the Fort Campbell Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum at Fort Campbell. April 23, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    We’ve had an amazing year at Joining Forces. Here are some of our favorite moments!

    In 2011, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sector to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.

  • Honoring Our Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families During the Holidays

    Holiday decorations at the Naval Observatory Residence

    Holiday decorations at the Naval Observatory Residence, in Washington, D.C., December 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    This holiday season, in honor of our service members, veterans, and their families, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden dedicated five trees at the Naval Observatory Residence representing each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Capturing their personal experiences, military families from all across the country handcrafted the ornaments that adorn the trees. Atop each tree is a gold star, embodying the spirit, bravery, and patriotism of those who serve.

  • Dr. Jill Biden Lauds Commitments to Hire Military Spouses

    Dr. Biden at Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Induction Ceremony

    Photo by Spc. Michael Mulderick at the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Induction Ceremony on December 3, 2014.

    On December 3, Dr. Jill Biden delivered remarks at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va., to welcome employers who have been partners in the growth of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). MSEP is part of the Department of Defense's broader initiative to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses, and connects employers with military spouses seeking new careers. In her remarks, Biden praised those organizations who contributed to the overall success of the initiative, its increase in numbers over time, and its ongoing expansion. She also highlighted the skills of military spouses and their contributions in the workplace.

    I know military spouses are among the most skilled and dedicated members of America’s workforce, and by giving them an opportunity to succeed, you will be making your business more productive. American businesses understand it is not only the right thing to do for our country, but it is the right thing to do for their bottom lines.

    Since its initial launch in 2011, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership has posted 1.8 million jobs on the MSEP Career Portal and aided in the employment of over 65,000 military spouses. With nearly 260 businesses within this partnership, the initiative has come full force to provide employment opportunities for military spouses whose lifestyles often require portable careers.

    More information regarding MSEP can be obtained at