A Salute to Military Spouses

A Salute to Military Spouses
May 07, 2020

Every May, the United States comes together as a nation to honor Military Appreciation Month. Citizens take pause to express their gratitude to service members as well as their families. The collective dedication to service members defending the country and their families standing alongside them is a duty-bound partnership, and one that comes at great cost.  That’s why during this month, appropriately so, the Friday before Mother’s Day is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Whether deployed overseas or supporting a mission on a home base, military families work together to overcome the many challenges that come with their job. Among the most important to the team, spouses offer a lifeline to our brave men and women serving on the frontline by protecting the home base so that service members can focus on the mission at hand. Lockheed Martin thanks every military spouse for being a source of strength and providing an unwavering commitment to their Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen.

Supporting the military community is a large part of what Lockheed Martin does, both as a company and an employer. Lockheed Martin is actively involved in programs that help veterans and their families transition into satisfying, meaningful civilian careers.

One example is the Lockheed Martin Serves program, which recently launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate hiring for those in the military community. The corporation recognizes that military spouses develop a number of invaluable skills, making them a critical asset to the United States workforce.

Today, Lockheed Martin is saluting military spouses and giving special thanks to those employed within the corporation. 

April and Erik's Wedding

April is a member of the corporate media relations team, and her husband, Erik, is a Marine Officer. The pair met in San Diego, California, five years ago and have been married for just over a year. Over the course of their relationship they have worked through two deployments and one cross-country move.

“I’m most proud of his dedication to the Corps,” April says. “Being a military spouse and pursuing your own career is a challenge with the frequent moves, but he is just as supportive of me as I am of him.”

According to April, one of the strongest attributes that all military spouses share is the ability to be independent. She is proud to be a part of such a resilient community.

“Being a military spouse is also about being adaptable,” April adds. “It’s about embracing change and learning to be okay no matter how life turns out.”

Courtney and LCDR Smythe
LCDR Smythe’s homecoming with the USS Alexandria, with his 5-month old daughter and two-year-old daughter after a 6-month deployment

Courtney is a Quality Assessment Engineer with Lockheed Martin Space. She met her spouse, LCDR Smythe, in 2011 while they were both getting masters’ degrees at the Naval Postgraduate School. In nine years together, the couple has moved six times, worked through two deployments and welcomed two daughters and a son.

“Navigating the military life of moves, changing orders, ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes’ is like hiking a trail of peaks and valleys,” Courtney says. “You climb the mountain of packing up, unpacking, finding daycare, making friends, seeking meaningful work and exploring new places. When you reach the peak, you have a home, a community and a glorious view. The hike down the mountain is satisfying even though you might be a bit tired, and the valley is the hardest when you don't know what mountain the Navy is going to ask you to climb next.”

Courtney is proud of herself for continuing to find satisfying work. She has continuously supported her spouse at home and at work by seeking positions that support the nation. 

“At Lockheed Martin, customers are often the military,” she says. “We make deep, trusted connections through our shared experiences and understandings.”

Courtney wants to emphasize that military spouses are more than just resilient, they’ve got grit and optimism. They learn the ability to adjust expectations and manage unexpected changes without sacrificing excellence. Diverse experiences make the military spouse community open-minded, confident and eager to jump in with different perspectives.

“Military spouses are worth the investment,” Courtney says. “We believe hiring managers see the risk of us moving in a few years and might consider a different candidate. Additionally, gaps in our resumes and career detours happen. We make sacrifices in our career to support our family.”

Courtney adds that military spouses are motivators and quick learners who always show up ready to contribute. 

Alina and her family

Alina is a Human Resource Business Partner with Lockheed Martin Space. She met her sailor in San Diego, California, back in 2009. Alina was a property manager at the time when her now-husband came by the rental office to pay his best friend’s rent while he was out to sea. The couple got married in 2011 and Alina has been a proud Navy spouse for almost nine years. She is also proud of the marriage and family she has built, and proud to be a part of something greater than herself.

“It has been a journey, but all worth it,” Alina says. “I love the diversity I have been able to be a part of, the exposure to different cultures and the opportunity to partner up with my husband during service. Although I don’t serve in the military, I do serve my husband by supporting him and believing in what he does for our country every day!”

She says one of the challenges has been finding stability in her career.

“Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, it was a challenge getting calls from recruiters from job matches,” Alina says. “My resume looked unstable from 2011 to 2019 with different zip codes. It has been challenging to get a job while being married to military even with meeting both the professional experience and education requirements.”

Alina adds that change can be tough, but military spouses embrace the change with a positive attitude.

“We are change agents, time managers as well as organizers, we are learners, we are managers and we are leaders,” she says. “Best of all, we are collaborators with a strong sense of community and work ethic. We are not forced into ‘wearing’ all these hats, rather it’s a choice, and a good one!”