Brittany Tucker

Branch: Navy

Duty Station: Joint Expedintionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story

Number of Deployments: 8

Number of PCS's: 1

Share your military spouse story:
I became a military spouse and a mom at the age of eighteen. I spent seven years as a Marine Corps wife before getting divorced and becoming a single mom. Years later, I met my husband, who has now served 22 years in the Navy as a Navy Seal, and my story since meeting him has been one of becoming my most adaptable and capable self. I have struggled and succeeded in learning who I am, both as a mother, wife, and friend, while navigating some of the most challenging and devastating situations along the way. I've watched my husband lose his brother, and I've stood by friends as they've lost their husbands. I truly believe that being a military spouse has made me stronger in every aspect of my life. There is not much that can prepare you for raising four sons almost entirely alone while your husband is away the majority of the time. That was the part I was prepared for, though. The parts I had to tread through to get to the other side were finding myself along the way. How can I grow into my best version that isn't lost in motherhood along the way? Finding a fulfilling career, a sound support system, and hobbies that you truly enjoy is so hard when you're in the thick of it raising babies, and your spouse is always gone. When I think of my story as a military spouse, those are the parts I'm most proud of. Sure, I handled the house and the kids while my husband spent multiple deployments and countless trips away from home, but what kind of person am I now? I am happy, loving, successful, proud, and loved. I have four beautiful boys that I've raised since the age of 18, and I have a husband who will retire in a few years, who I'm immensely proud of.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
While searching for a full-time job, I was a contractor for 'Recruit Military' as a Publication Manager. My time with Recruit Military equipped me with endless resources to help lead military spouses in their job search and share resources with transitioning vets seeking opportunities. It allowed me to connect with over a thousand people on LinkedIn, where I've been able to share employment opportunities, professional development resources, and internship opportunities. While I was an Ombudsman at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, I had a wide network where I could provide employment and professional development resources, mentor spouses, and develop strategic relationships with organizations willing to support spouses in the Special Operations Community.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I've spent a total of eight years supporting military spouses in some aspect, primarily as an Ombudsman at Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Throughout that time, I strived to bring families together and fostered spouse camaraderie and family events. Our squadron hosted a family retreat at a West Virginia resort with speakers and family activities for all ages. I also hosted multiple spouse outings so we could get to know one another. It was important for me to pave the way for a squadron historically not as close-knit to become closer through events like these, and I did. Throughout that time, I also became a birth doula, with a focus on supporting military families so they could receive birth support without breaking the bank. I served over 75 military families, some whose spouses were deployed, all while working full-time, and it is something I will always be immensely proud of.

Describe how you support your community:
I support my military community by supporting non-profits who support our military community. Virginia Beach is basically one giant military community, and there are countless opportunities to support it. I volunteer my time supporting Climb4, a nonprofit that I discuss below, fundraising for gear for veterans. I support Run to Remember every year with my family to support the Gold Star Spouses who lost their loved ones in Extortion 17. I also offer birth doula services at an extremely discounted rate for any military spouse who wants or needs birth support.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for military spouse and veteran employment and mental health rights. I know these are not the same things, but I believe they are equally important. I have seen and felt the challenges of finding work that is achievable as a military spouse, and I have witnessed the lack of mental health support for families and veterans alike. My time as a military spouse has made me more than qualified for many job positions, yet my lack of experience equated to rejection after rejection. I heard the same thing from many spouses who "moved too much" or "just needed to stay at a position longer." On the subject of mental health, I've experienced a lack of support and challenges in receiving help, and I've seen my veteran friends struggle just as much if not more. It's important to me that we don't just post about it or talk about it, but we act to invoke change.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
Primarily on LinkedIn to reach a wide range of people. I also volunteer for my friend's non-profit, Climb4. They help outfit veterans with camping and hiking gear to promote outdoor wellness and combat mental health struggles.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I would love to find avenues to support military spouses in their employment journey. I would love to highlight non-profits willing to help military spouses and veterans find employment and mental health support. Truth be told, I almost didn't complete this application because I'm sure there are so many compelling stories and motives out there, but as a military spouse in the Special Operations world, I think my story can be helpful and reassuring to other SpecOp spouses who want to support in some way. We band together well, but how can we do that if someone doesn't stand up and say: 'I'm here."


I proudly nominate Brittany Tucker for Military Spouse of the Year, recognizing her invaluable support while she served as an Ombudsman and her remarkable ability to excel in her career amidst the challenges of military life.
- by Heidi Dindial