Chrissy Gibbs

Branch: Army

Duty Station: USAG Bavaria

Number of Deployments: 4

Number of PCS's: 6

Share your military spouse story:
Would you trust your friends to set you up? They know you best, right? I was hesitant when I received a wedding invitation in 2008 with only my name on the envelope, and no "plus one". Surely that was a mistake, but my friend assured me that it was not, and that there would be someone at the wedding for me to meet. Little did I know how much would change that summer evening. I had plans to move out of state and start my own career, but once I met my husband, I knew that I would follow him anywhere. We were married in 2010 and began our military journey. At our wedding, I was given the Army wife handbook as a joke gift, but I honestly flipped through that thing multiple times because I was immersed in an entirely different world where the singular focus was my service member, and I felt lost. There were so many things that I didn't understand, and I took classes on post to learn as much as possible. Once I found a small tribe, we learned how to navigate the military life together, as well as motherhood (I have 4 school-aged children). That became my norm. I would move to a new location (KY, GA, TX, FL, KS, and Germany), instantly try to insert myself into the community, and find my new local tribe to navigate the military life. These battle buddies and I went through multiple PCS seasons, deployments, births, losses, all of the highs and lows. They have been such an integral piece of my military spouse story, because they are truly my biggest support system outside of my immediate family.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
My leadership positions in the military community began in 2011, when I was voluntold (you know it!) to help out. I didn't know what an FRG was, and was certainly not knowledgable about anything to do with the military, but I wanted to get involved and knew that if I was clueless, so were others. So I felt that drive to help empower other military spouses and families. I have served in every SFRG position, and volunteered with multiple military organizations in my 12 years as a military spouse. My most rewarding leadership experience has been with Mission: Milspouse (formerly Army Wife Network) which has daily blogs, weekly podcasts, and so many resources. As Content Curator, I was able to triple the newsletter subscribers, and reach more families than just those that I was calling up one-by-one in my husband's unit.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
After getting married, we began our family, and I chose to stay home with my children instead of continuing with my career as a teacher. This allowed me more time and freedom to help out with our military communities. I have been able to host multiple events that fed our military families, fundraised for special gifts like Welcome Home baskets for single soldiers coming back from a deployment, and have made myself available for military spouses locally and nationwide. On average, I have volunteered about 10 hrs/week for the military community.

Describe how you support your community:
Everyone has a purpose in life, and mine is to help others. This began with my career of teaching, and has led me down this volunteer path of supporting military families. When I began volunteering with Mission: Milspouse, the organization was called Army Wife Network, and I saw firsthand how narrow our outreach was in the military world. Anyone that wasn't affiliated with the Army or wasn't a "Wife" would instantly tune me out. I knew we could do better, so I worked with our team to rebrand and become more inclusive of ALL Military Spouses. Our mission is to globally empower military spouses with resources and support to conquer adversity, foster confidence, and thrive in this military life.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for knowledge, truth, and solidarity. Having the right information can drastically change one's perspective on any situation! I am passionate about supporting military spouses, and giving them the tools necessary to succeed in this military life including: confidence, connections, and community.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
As a battle buddy, friend, and senior advisor: I listen to what needs are expressed around me, and share pertinent information with those individuals to help them thrive. As a command team member with Mission: Milspouse, I have created 55 newsletters which highlight important military topics, I have spoken on 30 podcast episodes about empowering resources, and have helped share encouragement across multiple social media platforms reaching 100,000 followers.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
With the AFI Military Spouse of the Year title, I hope to be able to continue supporting military spouses nationwide, and also launch a new Empowerment Program with Mission: Milspouse. Everyone deserves to have a battle buddy in their corner to help them not only survive, but thrive.


If "classy" could be a military spouse, it would be Chrissy Gibbs. She is one of the most savvy and fun spouses I've ever met. She has such a deep courage within her to conquer foreign lands (currently stationed OCONUS), raise four boys, and support her husband with her whole heart. Chrissy doesn't shy away from a challenge. She an innovator through and through. She helped to completely revamp the (formerly) Army Wife Network e-newsletter (now Mission: Milspouse, The SITREP), and has since build subscribership up by the hundreds. Now she has so-very-boldly transitioned into Director of Development, spearheading Mission: Milspouse funds and partnerships opportunties. She always brings great ideas to the table, and wholeheartedly embodies the title of military spouse of the year.
- by Sharita Knobloch