Kayla Corbitt

Branch: Army

Duty Station: Joint Base San Antonio

Number of Deployments: 0

Number of PCS's: 3

Share your military spouse story:
Over the past decade, I have dedicated myself to collecting stories, building trust in the military community, and advocating for military families facing challenges as a result of a lack of child care like employment difficulties, food insecurity, chronic debt, mental health issues, and housing shortages. My journey in supporting military families began during an OCONUS stationing, where I observed that the only spouses who were working were either childless or had school-aged children. After returning to the United States, I enrolled in the very programs I had been helping families navigate. Miraculously, I found employment that coincided with the availability of the military child care subsidy. However, our family's savings were depleted on child care costs that were supposed to be reimbursable. The center where my child was enrolled, though listed as approved, was actually not; the subsidy website was outdated. The exorbitant cost and limited availability of child care made it financially unfeasible for me to continue working, and it took almost two more years before another employment opportunity that matched with child care availability came along. Unfortunately, it was then time for us to relocate. Through over a decade of relentless commitment, I have uncovered what studies clearly show: the lack of access to affordable, quality child care profoundly affects every aspect of life.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
In my time as a military spouse, I have created two companies, completed the first pilot program to establish baseline data on gaps in military child care, and spent my days building the impact of my non-profit, The Operation Child Care Project. This is only possible through the network and community I have supporting me. Leadership comes from trust, and I am grateful for the trust my military community has given me.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
Prior to creating the organizations I have, I spent my days in the trenches. Navigating families options along side them and learning more about the uniqueness of each situation. As I grew so did my resources and network. I participated in a pitch competition through Warrior Rising and was awarded a $20,000 grant, I placed all of that and approximately 30 hours a week, into my pilot program for the military community. Since then every bit of funding and support I obtain goes directly back to my mission and passion, equitable affordable child care for military and Veteran families. If I am not meeting with leadership, I am meeting with families, collecting their stories and using those to influence programming.

Describe how you support your community:
The challenges faced by the military and Veteran community in accessing reliable child care are multifaceted and deeply rooted in the unique lifestyle demands of military service. I am the voice for the families who cannot use theirs.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for engagement; military families should be included in advocacy for policy changes. There should be a prioritization to ensure their voices are given the most weight in decision-making. I advocate for transparent technology and data, aiding program development and resource allocation. Regular assessments of needs and program efficacy will ensure the programs are responsive and evolving. Clear information builds trust.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
Through my organizations, I have built a following of passionate fellow advocates and champions. The work I do is driven by the determination of military families and emphasizes the vital role of child care as infrastructure.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
There is a new wave of advocates in the military community, and it is the community itself. Over the decades, only those in positions of power have been able to create change. I want to demonstrate to Military Spouses that their voice matters and it can make waves.


Kayla is a rockstar in our community. She has the passion and the drive to make a real difference, and she already has! Thanks to Kayla's Operation Childcare Project we are seeing a need start to be filled. The challenges she confronts are not simple, yet they are being reduced thanks to Kayla's spirit and passion.
- by Candace Guelzo