Mission Essential: We hear that term often in the military. These are the elements without which the plan fails, objectives are missed, and lives are lost. Rations, equipment, personnel, and intelligence all fit neatly into this category. They fold and stack in duffels and crates and fill up cargo planes. There is a cold efficiency of procedure, allowing the military the ability to replicate it time and time again. But in all that procedure, and all that efficiency, something is often forgotten.
It has long been recognized that the success of a mission is contingent on more than the expertise of the personnel, the materials provided, and the force applied. There is an element that is beyond the analysis of performance metrics but is of immeasurable importance – the warfighter who is well-supported emotionally and spiritually is the best contributor to a successful mission. Many attempts are made within the system to provide for these needs among, but none are more successful, effective, or foundational as the strong, supportive family.
When a spouse deploys, the military family begins its own mission. The mother-leader tightens her ponytail, pulls on her boots, and marches into her own battle. She becomes mother, father, teacher, healer, counselor, playground monitor, reader of bedtime stories and distributor of discipline. She is administrator, CEO, public relations, and historian for her family. She is the 24-hour on-call mission expert, solo-pilot, communications specialist, intel analyst, and security force for her household. No matter how much institutional support exists, it is the strength of the family that stands behind the warfighter that will hold them up when the chips are down.
This is where Military MOPS becomes mission essential. We are crucial to the success of her mission, thus we are essential to the success of his mission. With a passion for Jesus and for service to moms, we empower, embolden, educate, bolster and strengthen women. I have seen moms step up and wear all the hats, but she should not have to do it alone. Military MOPS is a sisterhood of home front warriors, experts in overcoming obstacles.
A MOPS group is the manifestation of the proverbial village. It is at MOPS meetings where women learn from others how to handle the ins and outs of motherhood, where women reach out when they need help during a TDY or deployment, where they will seek comfort when a crisis occurs. We are the meal trains, the ‘in the clutch’ babysitters, the sound advice, the ‘keep your chin up and march on’ pep talks, the fast response in an emergency, and the close hug over a hot cup of tea while watching and waiting for answers. We are the finders of resources, the sources of collective wisdom, and the fount of friendship. Most of all, we are Jesus followers – unapologetic believers in a strong, forgiving, loving, Lord Almighty. We are a conduit for HIS love and a demonstration of the strength HE gives us.
Military MOPS provides the community that strengthens the family unit, emboldens the mother to do what is necessary to meet the needs of her family, eases the strain that so frequently manifests as anxiety and depression in the military spouse, and provides the soft place to land when the challenges seem insurmountable. The greatest asset of the warfighter is a strong family and a happy home. Military MOPS is an integral part of providing that asset – stronger, well-informed, spiritually nourished women make better moms who lead stronger families, and the strength of those families is the true strength behind the mission.
What can you do to support Military MOPS?
- Pray for doors to open so that Military MOPS groups can be available everywhere military families live. Pray for MOPS to find favor with chaplains and other decision-makers.
- Pray for Military MOPS Leaders, who are usually military spouses themselves – for their safety and the safety of their spouse, for their children and for friends to help ease their own strain.
- Pray Military groups can always be that safe place for moms whose worlds don’t always feel safe.
This article is currently featured in the MOPS Leader’s Guide – Fuel the Fire.
Rebecca Grady is a Coach for Military MOPS, a military spouse and a mom to three iron-willed children. When she is not trying to teach her children to use their super powers for good (not evil) and to wear pants when they leave the house, she loves to teach self-defense and write and speak to women’s groups about a variety of topics like marital intimacy, survive and thrive as a military family, and developing empathy in our children.