Operation: Military Kids (OMK) is the U.S. Army's collaborative effort with America's communities to support the children and youth impacted by deployment. This initiative was officially launched in April 2005. Since its inception OMK has touched 88,000 military youth and provided information to 21,009 community members across the United States.
Operation: Military Kids, as part of the 4-H/Army Youth Development Project, is a vital part of the Army OneSource (AOS) delivery system. Families and youth can access information about OMK programs, link to OMK partner programs on this OMK website or by contacting their State 4-H Military Liaison.
Through a network of community partners, OMK provides youth program opportunities for school age, middle school and teenaged youth and connects them to support resources where they live. Through OMK, Military Youth can:
- Participate in a range of recreational, social & educational programs
- Gain leadership, organizational, and technical skills by participating in the Speak Out for Military Kids program or Mobile Technology Lab programs
- Receive assistance with school issues by connecting with Army Child, Youth & School Services School Liaisons -- More on School Transition Support
- Attend single day or weekend camps
- Meet other youth who are also experiencing deployment
National, State and Local Partners of Operation: Military Kids provide access to youth programs and support services where military children live. OMK Partners can organize special events, provide transportation to military kids to sporting events or other extracurricular activities, or participate in the Hero Pack initiative.
Army Child, Youth & School Services programs are offered through Army Garrisons, National Guard Family State Program offices or Reserve Regional commands. National 4-H Headquarters provides information to connect military to 4-H programs in their hometowns. You can find the Boys & Girls Club nearest to you at www.bgca.org and participate in wide array of program opportunities such as Keystone Clubs. Schools can help create academic, social and emotional support networks for students. Military Child Education Coalition can provide professional development opportunites on working with military populations for school personnel and community members to make them aware of the stressors that can be associated with a military deployment.. The American Legion has a variety of youth program options such as the "High School Oratorical Scholarship Program" for youth of all ages. The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) can assist military families with child care issues.
OMK Teams operating in 49 States and the District of Columbia include over 600 OMK partner members from both national and local organizations that work together to provide support to the military children in their state.
At this time not every State participates in the OMK initiative.