Duty Station: Naval-Postgraduate-School-Monterey
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 4
About the nominee: First of all, I'm honored to have been nominated. I have been a military spouse for 8 years now, as my husband is a Captain in the Marine Corps at the Naval Postgraduate School. He currently has 16 years in the service, and was an enlisted Staff Sergeant when we met. I have a unique viewpoint as a spouse who has been on both the officer and enlisted side of the military, and I make an effort to 'bridge the gap' between officer and enlisted spouses, because at the end of the day, we are all members of the same community, face the same hardships, and frankly, have a lot in common! Professionally, I serve as the Deputy Executive Director at the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation in Monterey. I work hard to make families a priority at NPS for both the students here, as well as the leadership on base. I am particularly proud of the family programs we offer at the NPS Foundation, which encourage a much needed focus on family relationships out of the deployment tempo. I have been working in the nonprofit sector for 8 years now, and I love having the opportunity to work on issues I feel passionately about. I started my career as a teacher, like many military spouses. My first few years teaching were at Camp Lejuene, NC, and many of my colleagues were fellow military spouses. I took a leadership role as a North Carolina Teacher Fellow, representing educators in NC to congress in an effort to impact education policy in NC. I also volunteer as a Board Member on the Monterey Bay Officer Spouses Club (MBOSC). I am the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, and have the opportunity to organize scholarships and awards for local spouses who are advancing their education and careers. My career is one of my highest priorities, after my family (I have 3 children under the age of 6). I am proud of my career accomplishments because I know all to well the unique challenges of holding a career while being a military spouse. I am always eager to share my experiences to other spouses who are looking for guidance and help in growing their careers. I recognize that military spouses face a 30% unemployment rate, and I am passionate about lowering that statistic.
Hobbies: I have three young children, so my first hobby is spending time traveling with children and introducing them to new experiences and memories. Additionally, I am a passionate writer, and quite enjoy it! I enjoy writing both professionally and recreationally. I have always loved horses, and have been riding horses since I was young. I have found that owning horses is difficult in the military lifestyle as a result of moving frequently and having little control over where you move to, but I always try to at least lease a horse or volunteer as a rider at a stable or farm in my local area.
Interesting Facts: I had never moved prior to becoming a military spouse. My family moved to Orlando, Florida when I was very young, and we stayed there, in the same neighborhood, until I had graduated from high school and moved off to college. I was extremely nervous about moving for the first time with my husband after we had been married, and now here we are, 8 years later with 4 PCS moves!
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse? I have learned that flexibility is the key to happiness in the military. It is difficult sometimes to not feel helpless as you move frequently across the county, have to quit jobs that you enjoy, pull your children out of schools that they like, and leave friends that you have made, but maintaining a positive attitude, and looking forward to what comes at the next duty station will help you to remain flexible.
In your opinion, what is one of the most important issues facing military families? Military spouses categorically face a 30% unemployment rate. This can be attributed to a number of factors including insufficient education and job skills, transient residency status, and deployment hardships. This unemployment, or underemployment issue directly translates into financial hardship and stress for many military couples. I think these issues can be addressed through unique programs and services that provide military spouses with opportunities to gain education and job skills, and training for interviews, resume writing, and personal branding.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family? I have grown to enjoy moving frequently. While I will admit that leaving old friends and maintaining a career is difficult with frequently PCSing, I enjoy having the opportunity to live in new areas, find new houses, make new friends, and network in new areas. My children don't realize how lucky they are to have the opportunities to travel and experience new adventures the way we do in the military.
What is one thing you want to accomplish with the Military Spouse of the Year title? I want to expand my work on addressing military spouse unemployment. I have an extensive background in nonprofit management and administration, and I am in the process of registering a 501(c)3 nonprofit to benefit and represent military spouses. Being honored as the Military Spouse of the Year would provide a great deal of credibility to my background, and ultimately my mission to address military spouse unemployment. I am a talented and passionate writer, and I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Military Spouse Magazine on a regular basis. I view this title as an opportunity to allow me to forge valuable and meaningful partnerships that result in positive outcomes for all military spouses.
Reasons for nominating:
I am nominating Meredith Terrian for MSOY from the Naval Postgraduate School base/installation. She currently serves as the Deputy Director at the NPS Foundation, and in doing so, devotes her career to supporting the officers and their families aboard NPS. Meredith devotes her time to ensuring that families are a priority at NPS, to both student officers and their respective commands. She is responsible for securing an award for the NPS Foundation that recognizes it as Monterey County's 'Family Friendly Employer'. Meredith is a Marine spouse, who has built an incredibly successful career despite the unique challenges and hardships of military life. She and her husband have moved 5 times in 7 years, they have 3 young children, and have survived overseas deployments in excess of 10 months! She has still managed to become a role model for other spouses who aspire to have successful careers and maintain healthy families. Meredith has chosen to focus her career in the nonprofit industry because it allows her to work with under represented populations and help those in need. Prior to her work with the NPS Foundation, she represented teachers, many of whom are military spouses, in the state of North Carolina as a Teacher Fellow to congress. She was responsible for building innovative processes to increase teacher engagement and recruitment in the state. Meredith also volunteers her time as a board member for the Monterey Bay Officer Spouses Club (MBOSC), and chairs the Scholarship Committee. In this role, she organizes and reviews scholarship applications from military spouses in an effort to provide them with opportunities to further their education. She is an excellent role model for other military spouses, and works hard to provide equal opportunities for underrepresented groups. -- Maria Mola, Fellow Military Spouse