Traci Ostrander

Branch: Army

Duty Station: Joint Base Camp Bullis

Number of Deployments: 1

Number of PCS's: 7

Share your military spouse story:
I’ve been married nearly 24 years to my soldier. We met, married, and moved to a new state in less than 2 years and that also included a deployment and my college graduation. I call this life an adventure because that is exactly what it is. I have been an Active Duty Navy, Army Reserve and now Army Reserve AGR spouse. We have lived in many homes, many states and many climates and enjoyed exploring each new area. It has been challenging, stressful, unpredictable and fun-sometimes all at the same time. This past PCS was probably the hardest as it took us far from our college kiddo. This FL born and raised gal now loves seasons, snow, and can drive in white-out conditions, although my heart will always be at the beach. We always try to PCS where we haven’t been as we love the experience of new locations and playing tourist in each new home. Our family currently calls San Antonio, TX our home and are excitingly exploring all it has to offer. I have worn many hats through this adventure. Wife, Mom, K/1 teacher, homeschool teacher, volunteer and leader are some of my favorites. As a military spouse, I have grown through the vast experiences of military life. I have fellow military spouses as mentors/friends who helped (well, pushed) me to expand my comfort zone and explore new positions. I have learned that I can do much more than I ever think I can (I try not to think about how my face is all over MSAN social media!). Though sometimes it does require persuasion and sweets. I have found a community of military spouses that I can rely on to cheer, support and listen to me. It hasn’t always been easy and I often struggled making connections. I found my passion to support our military community in any ways I can, whether it’s volunteering with the local military spouses club, running the SFRG, supporting fellow military spouses in their own endeavors or mentoring military spouses. It’s this adventure of a military life that sparked my passion and I am so thankful for it.

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Leadership was always something I struggled with as I don’t enjoy the limelight. However with some persuasion, mentoring and growth, I have grown into my leadership roles. I have held several roles from Facilities Manager, Secretary, SFRG Advisor/Leader, Mentor & Branch Mentor to my favorite, MSMP Manager. Here I am able to mentor military spouses seeking support, resources and connection as well as supporting fellow volunteers with MSAN. I manage a team of Branch Mentors and Mentors from each of the military branches and support military spouses around the globe in our Mentorship HUB, a secure virtual education & resource center. Along with this, I co-created Chatting with Traci & Christie, a live chat series for MSAN. We chat about all things milspouse life, even the hard stuff. We connect with military spouses on topics and issues important to them. It’s been a passion of mine to support military spouses and the community and now it’s no longer a dream.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
I love to be involved in the military community to support not only our service members, but also their families and our communities that we live in. At each duty station, I find a way to volunteer. I have volunteered with the Fort Meade Spouses’ Club and served on their board as well as the board of the Post Thrift shop. I built up our Soldier and Family Readiness Group for our Reserves command and it grew to a thriving SFRG that highly supported our Reserve soldiers and their families. I have volunteered with Military Spouse Advocacy Network as a Military Spouse Mentorship Program Mentor, Branch Mentor and now Manager. I also volunteer for fellow military spouses’ programs such as Military Hearts Matter and GivingTuesdayMilitary in addition to volunteering with my church.

Describe how you support your community:
I have a passion for helping military spouses live the best life they can. Whether they need an ear to listen, resources, support, or help with a project, I am here for them. I pride myself in being someone who you can rely on to help when needed or find you help if I can’t do it. I call it an honor and pleasure to help out a fellow military spouse when they call out for support. With our lifestyle, it’s so important to be able to have a community you can reach out to for anything at all whether it’s to be an emergency contact, a person to share in the celebrations and not so great times, a ride from the airport (and getting lost in the boonies), a connection to help with your passions or anything at all.

What do you advocate for? Why?
Mentorship of military spouses, of all walks of life, is my advocacy. Every military spouse at any stage of life can benefit from having mentorship to help them live the best life they can. Having someone there who understands this life and will support, empower and educate you is vital. We all need to share our stories and experiences and help one another as fellow military spouses.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have been able to continue advocating for mentorship in addition to mentoring in my various roles with MSAN, sharing this through my own social media as well as MSAN social media, our Mentorship-HUB and other outlets. Our Chatting with Traci & Christie series also allows me to share my passion of mentoring and supporting military spouses around the globe. We have the opportunity to share our experiences and help fellow military spouse.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
I want to continue to spread the word about how important mentorship in the military spouse community is. I want to continue encouraging military spouses to find ways to connect at their duty stations and find their passions while also educating themselves and sharing their stories.


It's with great pleasure to nominate Traci for the Military Spouse of the Year award. I believe that Traci is the best choice for the MSOY award because she consistently displays leadership, humanitarianism, honesty and public service. I have witnessed Traci outstanding leadership and her volunteering to help everyone whose mission is to support our military families.
- by Miles for the Heart