Military children are resilient, flexible, and strong. They move every one to three years, bloom in school midyear, and continue their favorite sport or activity around the world. Within the challenges they are presented, they grow ideas and projects. Do you know an outstanding military child? You can nominate that military child for Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year® Award.

The Military Child Of The Year® Awards

The Military Child of the Year® (MCOY) Awards were created to recognize such resilience and achievement in seven military children. Each branch — Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard — is represented, with one child from each branch being recognized for their scholarship, philanthropy, leadership, extracurricular involvement, among other criteria. In addition to the recognition, the winners receive a trip to Washington, D.C., a laptop, and a cash award of $10,000.

The Military Child Of The Year® Awards

The seventh award is the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation. This award is for the military child who designed a bold and creative solution to address a local, regional, or global challenge. An expert panel created by Booz Allen Hamilton is made to evaluate the nominees and present the award. The winner of this award receives the same award and donated business expertise to help them move their winning design from an idea to a solution in the market.

Recipients of the awards and their families will go to Washington, D.C. on April 16, 2019, for events, tours, and activities leading up to the Awards Gala on Thursday, April 18, 2019.


To be eligible, applicants have to meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be a legal dependent of a service member or military retiree. Finalists must provide DEERS enrollment form.
  • Be between the ages of 13-18 at the time of the nomination.
  • Be able to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the MCOY Gala and other events (April 16-19, 2019).
  • Agree to a background check (required of finalists).
  • Provide letters of recommendation (if selected as a semifinalist).
  • Be willing to participate in media and donor opportunities.

The Military Child Of The Year® Awards


The nomination and application period opened September 13, 2018, and will close December 5, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

The Military Child Of The Year® Awards

To nominate a military child, visit the nominations page on the Military Child of the Year website. Complete the nomination form, including five short answers or the Innovation Award nomination form.

The Military Child Of The Year® Awards

More Information

The FAQ page at can answer last-minute questions you may have before submitting an application. The website provides a wealth of program details, including profiles of previous recipients. If you still have questions after clicking around the site, you can contact Jenny Valderas, Director of Family Support Services at 210-549-4603 or

Military kids have access to GI Bill benefits for education expenses, but the parameters are changing. Make sure you’re up on the changes.
The Military Child Of The Year® Awards

Photo Credits: Unsplash

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Heather Walsh is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, blogger and lover of all things crafty and Disney. Professionally, she is a Physician Assistant and has a passion for helping others to stay positive and supported. She has been writing since KidPix had the ability to write stories on floppy disk. The military lifestyle is something she has always known, so traveling and capturing those moments and sharing what she learns with her community is important to her. Recently, she has written for NextGen MilSpouse. She is one of three women who share travel tips for the military family at They are currently sharing exploration of Southern California, Virginia and New Orleans with tips for the military family on how to enjoy the adventure with every PCS and save money while doing it!


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