Jerad Knight

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: Buckley Space Force Base

Number of Deployments: 3

Number of PCS's: 4

Share your military spouse story:
Being a spouse and former service member drives me to help Service members and their families. Becoming a spouse after being the service member is a rough adjustment, that no one really talks about. Most people think prior service military spouses have an easier time because we are used to the PCSing, the deployments, the never set in stone schedule. Truth is it's actually not easier. It's hard to carry the frustrations of military spouse life when you don't exactly know how things work, its harder when you know how they should work and see that it is not going that way. Transition from service member to military spouse showed me so many opportunities to face and overcome adversities that I had never known before. How to realize that although I have experience in the military it does not translate to spousedom was the first challenge that hit me. The challenge of when to offer advice to my spouse from my experience and when to just be the support system who listens and offers a rock to lean on without trying to interfere my husband's career. Each new challenge becomes a new strength and skill to share and builds my character.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I have been a command Ombudsman and active member of a few Family Readiness Groups (FRGs). Including help start a couple FRGs and family associations. As a former service member myself, I have been active in many commands and advocacy groups. I have had the distinct pleasure to lead and organize community events and truly be active in command and social activities. I learned how find and utilize resources and provide them to others. Especially for other male spouses who are often lost in the never ending spouse group posts starting with "Hey Ladies" or "Little Black Dress Party", and also other LGBTQ spouses and dependents who even after the repeal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) are still looked at like you just found a strange and powerful unicorn. As a member of two often over looked spouse demographics I want to show that we are here and visible. I want to have a platform to pull our chairs to the tables of spouse groups and social programs.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I have always taken a very active interest in my husbands commands and ways to be involved, from bake sales to events. From deployment readiness to underways, I also in my civilian career am always working with my employer to be active and involved with local bases and commands. I have worked with my employer on PCS schedules and challenges, outreach opportunities and the special challenges our families face. As well as being active with my own previous and my husband's previous and current commands FRGs and family networks.

Describe how you support your community:
In my community I organize and chair my employer's yearly support of the Toys for Tots campaigns, I have also gotten my employer to also become active in hosting events and drives for our local military community and becoming more seen in our military family community. I support community organizations that help our LGBTQ youth, service members and spouses. I belong to online social groups dedicated to that community . I also do the same with groups for Male spouses. I have had the pleasure of serving as a command Ombudsman and active member of a few Family Readiness Groups (FRGs). Going from serviceman to spouse has given me a depth of understanding and has equipped me with a vast toolbox of skills that has formed not just my personal but, also my professional abilities. Learning to adapt to a new role and a role that is always fluid is becoming the best opportunity I have been fortunate to undertake.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for equality of representation of male spouses and LGBT spouses and dependents. Few times do we see posts addressed to those demographics, it is far too often post starting with "Hey ladies... or Hey girls..." and its my turn to speak up for change as those before me have done. As a member of two often overlooked and marginalized demographics, I feel it is time for someone to step up and say "I see you, I advocate for you, I support you!" I also adbocate for service member suicide prevention.we lose too many heroes to the battle after the battle.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I am active in multiple spouse groups and social clubs. I start open conversations about how to advance the representation and equality of presence of the groups to which I belong.I also look for opportunities such as the PCS GRADES spouse sponsor program, This amazing group is made by, and made for the military spouse and military family community in a way they helps answer many PCS questions. It helps provide housing information and honest reviews of where you may find yourself going on the next PCS adventure. It provides information on up to date changes and happenings with all areas of PCS from housing reviews, school reviews, policy changes, and more! It has been a great bonding and networking opportunity as a new and interactive way to help our communities around the world to be active within and provide visibility for all. I enjoy the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about our communities and the challenges faced by the individual facets of the community at large.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I really hope to build strong bonds and a platform of equality and strong leadship. I hope to accomplish making the AFI MILITARY SPOUSE OF THE YEAR title one that shows its advocacy and dedication to all spouses and demographics. I would use my year as the AFI Spouse of the year to further promote just how far the military and our spouse community has come with accepting everyone that makes up the patchwork quilt of our spousal community! I want to be a Military Spouse of the Year to be able to uplift other spouses both in my same demographics as well as spouses in general. I want to be a part of the vast and prestigious line of those who came before me and those who will come after. I am honored, humbled and above all else blessed to have this opportunity to serve in a new and exciting adventure and truly look forward to what it brings.


Jerad is the embodiment of a military spouse! he’s stronger than he knows.:. And loves his husband and bleeds red white and blue.
- by Alexis buzel

Jerad Knight was an exemplary ombundsman at CTF76 and strived to achieve the highest level of professionalism, knowledge and support. He truly shined with understanding of intricacies about holding the position and what rules to follow. The advice I have received from Jerad Knight during my stay on Okinawa, Japan was unparalleled by anyone before or after him in that position. He has helped me through some tough hurdles, as a friend and a fellow military spouse and our friendship is still strong even years and hundreds of miles apart. I hope that everyone gets to see what a brilliant and kind person Jerad is. He puts everyone's needs ahead of his and I believe he deserves this recognition.
- by Elena Jochum

spouses. He has been a service member, a spouse, an ombudsman, a spouse sponsor, a champion of spouse advocacy. He always says you gotaa thrive not survive.. He works hard in the local facebook spouse groups and in the international male military spouse group the manpendants to share information and make new spouses to the group feel accepted and welcomed. His husband is with the US NAVY and under way or deploys often. Jerad has worked hard to also break the stereotype of seasoned spouses acting like they know it all he likes to day ask me anything and if I don't know I'll get you to someone who does.. Jerad also works hard at his job to help the military and local community from running his teams Toys for Tots collections to getting his employer to be more active with the local bases making them become a truly military friendly company in our area.
- by Mike LaShore

I nominate Jerad Knight because I have known him for over 23 years and there is no one who deserves this more! There is not a more loyal, selfless, caring, smart, strong and loveable person in this world! Jerad has always been a person that I go to, to lift me up when I'm down. Jerad has served our wonderful country in our armed forces (army), and he is a man who truly never leaves a man behind. He is a best friend to all his friends. He is devoted equally to everyone, to a friend of 23 years or to a new friend he just met because his husband has been relocated. Jerad takes it all in stride. Jerad makes sure to be a available to anyone who calls upon him for help, with a shoulder to cry on, to have a place to sleep or to help you move to a new location with your own family. The whole time he makes sure he is a source of strength for his husband. His husband never has to worry about the home front because he knows Jerad is on top of it. Again no one deserves this honor more!
- by Stephanie King