JTF-SD spouse aims to reboot Homefront program
Last updated 8/30/2022 at 2:16pm | View PDF
SCHRIEVER SPACE FORCE BASE -As the daughter of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and an experienced U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force military spouse of seven years, Stevi Stephens-Martin joined the Joint Task Force-Space Defense team alongside her husband, U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Phillip Martin, after moving here from the National Reconnaissance Office headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia.
Stephens-Martin's goal is to garner volunteers and support for the JTF-SD Homefront program in order to get after the organization's number one priority, its people.
The JTF-SD Homefront program began with U.S. Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Jacob Simmons, previous command senior enlisted leader of the JTF-SD, who stated the program was intended to, "Create an environment of connection, awareness, involvement, and trust [in order to] build relationships rather than sponsorships that begin before arrival, build throughout the tour, and last beyond departure."
Colorado Springs presents unique opportunities and challenges to military families. By jumpstarting the JTF-SD Homefront program, Stephens-Martin hopes to make the transition easier by offering resources, connections, and social support, understanding that the geographic area itself makes it difficult to be in the loop.
Stephens-Martin is a marriage and family therapist who owns a small private practice near their home in the downtown Colorado Springs area. She and her husband moved here with their two dogs, Toby and Molly, in the summer of 2019.
Her husband is U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Phillip Martin, superintendent of the NRO at the National Space Defense Center, here. In this role, MSgt Martin provides advice and counsel as the senior NRO officer while providing oversight of administrative and operational processes and resolving personnel and quality of life issues on behalf of the organization.
Stephens-Martin initially became involved in the U.S. Air Force Key Spouse program while stationed alongside her husband at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska, where she was only one of two active-duty spouses located outside of the guard post.
"While we were in Alaska, I completed Key Spouse training," said Stephens-Martin. "It was useful because it helped me learn more about life for military families."
Once in Colorado, she was excited to get involved with families at her husband's new duty station and the JTF-SD's Homefront program initiative presented the perfect opportunity.
Stephens-Martin hopes to utilize her experience as a military spouse to help shape the program and create a more cohesive group of family members within the JTF-SD.
"Early this year, I was invited to join in the community outreach effort and was eager to assist," said Stephens-Martin. "I've experienced military life culture shock, remote assignments both accompanied and unaccompanied, navigating the 'joys' of a partner on shift work, and having to start from scratch with every PCS."
As a spouse in the JTF-SD Homefront program, she hopes to help generate opportunities for connection within the JTF-SD family. "I find the role of family members to be an integral aspect of keeping our service members engaged in the mission," said Stephens-Martin.
Now, the JTF-SD is looking to recruit other family members throughout Colorado Springs to help facilitate organic gatherings of JTF-SD personnel and their families. The overarching goal of the program is to build a sense of community through intentional outreach.
U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Phillip Martin is nearing the end of his active-duty career and the Martin family will be departing the JTF-SD in the spring of 2023. Therefore, this program is in need of additional volunteers to grow after their departure.
"I am hoping to get other family members interested so that my part of the program is well-established and supported when I leave," said Stephens-Martin. "I'm excited to see what ideas others have that can strengthen this effort and I am ready to learn what has made similar programs a success!"
This program is still in the early stages of development and the JTF-SD is currently recruiting all spouses and partners - service-members, contractors and civilians alike - to build a team that will help make the Homefront program a success.