WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2014 -- USDA and the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) signed a memo of understanding (MOU) to increase support services for military families.

The document allows the USDA-supported Cooperative Extension System and land grant universities to work directly with USSOCOM to conduct research and develop programs for families of Special Operations personnel on issues such as financial management, health and nutrition, and child care.

The MOU was signed today by Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden and Admiral William McRaven, the USSOCOM commander, at USDA’s annual outlook forum in Arlington, Va. 

McRaven said the partnership will allow the Department of Defense (DOD) to benefit from the intellectual capital of land grant universities, specifically in helping to find the best metrics for measuring the effectiveness of veteran services. 

“One of the fundamentals of Special Operations is that people are more important than hardware. This partnership exemplifies that truth,” McRaven said. “By facilitating access to a magnitude of valuable and credible family support programs and research through land grant universities, USDA will play a vital role in strengthening our force’s resiliency and mission readiness.”

During the signing ceremony, Harden noted that it is important to do everything possible “to take off a little of the stress” the men and women of the armed forces face at home by developing programs and services that help improve the quality of life for their families.

The MOU builds on a 2010 agreement between USDA and DOD.


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