Christina Joy Glisson

Branch: Marine Corps

Duty Station: Camp Kinser

Number of Deployments: 3

Number of PCS's: 5

Share your military spouse story:
I've been on this wild, exciting, unpredictable ride as a Marine Corps spouse for nearly 11 years. I'm a mother of twin girls, my husband's biggest fan, a dedicated marketing professional, and a champion for all of the friends I've earned throughout my life. I met the love of my life thanks to Tim McGraw. I was charged with planning his concert on Camp Pendleton and needed to find some Marines willing to do security. Enter him. Though we didn't hit it off at first, the night of the concert he proved himself to be what he has been since our love story began - a confidant, a pro at pep talks, and a source of inspiration whether together or apart. My military spouse journey has afforded me the chance to challenge myself in many different roles from working for a major Veteran Support Organization in Manhattan to leaning in for many military spouse support organizations whether in or out of my comfort zone. Of all of the things I've been privileged to do, being a twin Mom has been my greatest joy. They were rainbow babies for us and every moment before them was worth it. I'm often asked how I do it. In a way, I liken it to being a military spouse. Whether you're ready or not, you find the strength to make it work. Your heart grows and you grow with it. I don't make friends like many do. Small talk is tough. But, for me, passion comes easily. Working alongside other military spouses and nonprofit peers toward a common goal is where I have found the most inspirational and incredible friends, many of whom I see as role models. The last 10 years as a Marine Corps spouse have been a gift. I often trace my steps back to when I first met my husband and can't believe where this journey has led us. It hasn't always been easy, but it's been worth it.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
As a spouse, I've always been a big believer in listening to those who have gone before me. When my husband first got orders to the Pentagon, I reached out to a trusted mentor who suggested a few organizations that I should get involved with, one of which was the Navy-Marine Corps Ball Committee. I wasn't sure what I was getting into, but I agreed to take on the role of Venue Co-Chair. Thankfully, this group of seasoned spouses who didn't know me at all decided to give me a chance, My Navy Co-chair and I worked closely to plan and execute a large-scale gale at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. to raise funds for the Navy-Marine Corps Ball Committee. It was a chance to not only work with an incredible team of spouses but also with key DoD leadership in support of a great cause. It encouraged me to trust my gut and helped me realize the kind of spouse I wanted to be. The kind that gives every new spouse a chance, guides them with grace, and always has their back.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I believe that every experience builds onto the next one. The more you have, the more you learn, and the more useful you can be to your community. At our first duty station, I leaned in mainly as a unit volunteer on the Command Team. After that, I've gotten involved outside of his units with incredible organizations like the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Navy-Marine Corps Ball Committee, the Joint Armed Forces of Washington Luncheon, Camp Lejeune Leadership Seminar, Marine Corps Officers' Spouses' Club of Washington, D.C., Okinawa Leadership Seminar, Marine Officers' Spouses' Club of Okinawa, and recently American Welfare & Works Association (AWWA). I've also been privileged to work for the Wounded Warrior Project as well as the Marine Gift Shop on Okinawa, both of whom have a strong history of supporting both active-duty military and veterans as well as their families. I've been very blessed to have the trust and confidence of these organizations that do so much for so many.

Describe how you support your community:
Everyone has their mantras, but if I could put mine into one phrase it would be: "Do whatever you can, wherever you are, with whatever you have." I believe every military spouse has something to offer, even if it isn't typical or doesn't seem relevant. We bolster each other by taking the time to listen and learn about our backgrounds, both professionally and personally. I do my best not to wait for my turn to speak, but listen and that affords me the chance to encourage, explore, and educate whenever possible. We often relegate ourselves to being "just a spouse," or "just a mom," but there is no such thing. As military spouses, we have no choice but to take on every role when deployments or training exercises happen and that often means we possess skills we didn't even know we had. I also believe there's a seat at every table for every spouse whether you're an artist, computer programmer, accountant - you name it. Just show up, say "yes," and give yourself a chance. We've got this.

What do you advocate for? Why?
Being a military spouse isn't easy, but it's made easier when another spouse takes the time to reach out and bring you into the fold. I'm a strong advocate for inclusiveness and coaching. I've been privileged to be poured into by many seasoned spouses who helped steer me away from common pitfalls and point me toward places where I could bloom. It didn't matter if I had important connections or if my spouse was of a particular rank, these spouses saw something in me and took the time to nurture it. I believe that every spouse of every background can shine, but sometimes it takes another spouse to guide them into the right light, especially when it comes to overseas or more obscure duty stations. With every new duty station, I learn so much from other spouses who have been there before me or who understand that the new-kid struggle is real. We are part of a unique community and we face challenges that can be very lonely, but there should always be one thing we can count on - each other.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I've been very privileged to be in multiple organizations that have allowed me to create an environment as a leader that encourages connection. I believe that attitude reflects leadership and in each position, I've worked hard to make sure everyone feels included and valued, no matter if it's a new spouse at an event or a new board member trying to find his or her footing. I've also attended programs like Okinawa Leadership Seminar and pay it forward by joining the board or managing social media accounts so that I can help shape the way we empower and inform military spouses on a deeper level. But, I believe the most important way that I've spread my message is by example. I care deeply about how I make other people feel and I do my best to never spare praise when it's due or to listen rather than wait for my turn to speak. Outside of meetings, events, and work, I do my best to embrace and encourage other military spouses on a personal level. To me, that's what matters most.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I was very surprised and privileged to be blessed with this nomination. Regardless of what happens, that means that I did something positive to impact someone enough to take an extra step on my behalf and that's an incredible and humbling feeling. If I'm honored enough to become the AFI Military Spouse of the Year, I hope that I'm able to interact with even more military spouses than I already have, particularly the ones who are still trying to find their place or might not feel as if they have anything valuable to contribute. My story is one of believing in myself - sometimes barely enough - to just show and say "yes." It's also one of knowing what it's like to feel intimidated or unqualified until someone comes alongside me and tells me that I can do it. I honestly would just hope to help more military spouses realize their potential, set aside their insecurities, and believe that they have something to offer. We are all wonderfully different, but we are all undeniably valuable.


I am pleased to nominate Christina for the Military Spouse of the Year Award. Christina is dependable, efficient and giving. She is always willing to help out a fellow military spouse by selflessly helping out whenever needed and oftentimes helping without ever being asked. She is always motivating others and a positive  leader in her community serving as a true inspiration to others. Christina had lead in many leadership positions to help support the Marine Corps military spouses in different organization. Christina is more than deserving of this recognition and award. 
- by Miles for the Heart