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2022 Military Child of the Year Recipients on stage holding their awards.

Military Child of the Year® FAQs

Now in its 15th year, the Military Child of the Year® Award reflects the positive impact that these impressive young people have made on their military families, their schools, and their communities.
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS?
  • Child must be a legal military dependent. Status confirmed by DEERS enrollment form.
  • Child must be between the ages of 13 and 18, at the time of nomination.
  • Child and one adult guardian must be available to travel to the Washington, DC area for the April 11-14, 2023, Gala award presentation.
  • Officers, directors, employees, and agents of Operation Homefront and its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations, and their immediate family members (parent, child, sibling, and spouse of each) and those living in the same households of each are not eligible to receive programs, services, grants, or donated goods intended for use by Operation Homefront’s clients.
  • Previous Military Child of the Year Award® Recipients, to include Innovation Award recipients, are no longer eligible.

In addition to the above eligibility requirements, nominees must:

  • Provide Letters of recommendation (if selected as a semifinalist)
  • Provide Form 1172- DEERS (if selected as a semifinalist)
  • Be willing to participate in media and donor opportunities

If you have questions, please view the list below.

Q: WHO CAN SUBMIT A NOMINATION FOR THE MILITARY CHILD OF THE YEAR® AWARDS??

A: Anyone! Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors, grandparents, and anyone familiar with the child’s achievements

Q: ARE CHILDREN OF RESERVE SERVICE MEMBERS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS AWARD?

A: Yes. Please apply under your corresponding service branch. Children must meet all eligibility requirements including evidence of their status as a military dependent.

Q: ARE CHILDREN OF NATIONAL GUARD SERVICE MEMBERS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS AWARD?

A: Yes. Please apply under the appropriate National Guard category. In the past, children of National Guard service members applied under their corresponding Army or Air Force category. We have determined that it was time to celebrate our National Guard kids with their own award category in consideration of the unique demands placed on post 9/11 era National Guard families and the inclusion of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Q: ARE CHILDREN OF A RETIRED VETERAN ELIGIBLE FOR THIS AWARD?

A: If the Veteran is a “military retiree”, the child is eligible to apply. A military retiree is any member or former member of the uniformed services who is entitled, under statute, to retired, retirement, or retainer pay on account of service as a member, or who receives military retired or retainer pay.

Q: WHY ARE THERE NOW SEVEN BRANCH AWARDS INSTEAD OF SIX?

A: Space Force was officially created in December 2019, so we added the seventh branch award to continue to honor a child from every service branch.

Q: ARE CHILDREN OF A DECEASED SERVICE MEMBER ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THIS AWARD?

A: Yes, so long as the child is treated as a military dependent (with DEERS enrollment and benefits) because of their deceased parent’s service, the child is eligible to apply. Children of a parent KIA/MIA are generally eligible so long as they continue to be eligible for military dependent status.

Q: MY CHILD IS 12, IS HE/SHE ELIGIBLE?

A: No. Eligible children must be between the ages of 13 to 18 at the time of the nomination to qualify. If your child is currently 12, please apply next year!

Q: MY CHILD IS 18 BUT WILL TURN 19 BEFORE THE GALA CEREMONY IN APRIL. IS HE/SHE ELIGIBLE?

A: Yes, otherwise eligible children must be between the ages of 13-18 at the time of the nomination to qualify. So long as the child meets the qualification at time of nomination, they are eligible.

Q: MY CHILD IS A SEMI-FINALIST! WHAT CAN I SEND TO PROVE DEPENDENT STATUS?

A: Please make a copy of the Form 1172- DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) application clearly showing your child’s name and age. Please black out any social security and/or DoD ID numbers.

Q: WHEN DO RECIPIENTS RECEIVE THEIR PRIZES?

A: All award recipients will receive their laptop and cash award on or near the date of the Gala in Washington DC. If the Gala is held virtually then recipients will receive their prizes in the mail.

Q: DO I NEED TO PAY TAXES ON THE PRIZES?

A: Tax regulations change frequently. Operation Homefront recommends Recipient’s parent(s) consult with their family tax professional.

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