Frequently Asked Questions
What are the eligibility requirements?Answer...
- Child must be a legal military dependent. Status confirmed by DEERS enrollment form.
- Child must be between the ages of 13 and 18, at the time of nomination/application
- Military Child of the Year® - Branch: Child and one adult guardian must be available to travel to the Washington, DC area for the April 5-9, 2021 Gala award presentation.
- Military Child of the Year® - Innovation: Child and one adult guardian must be available to travel to the Washington, DC area for the April 5-9, 2021 Gala award presentation.
- Officers, directors, employees, and agents of Operation Homefront and its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations, and their immediate family members (parent, child, sibling and spouse of each) and those living in the same households of each are not eligible to receive programs, services, grants or donated goods intended for use by Operation Homefront’s clients.
- Previous Military Child of the Year Award® Recipients, to include Innovation Award recipients, are no longer eligible.
In addition to the above eligibility requirements, nominees and applicants must:
- Provide Letters of recommendation (if selected as a semifinalist)
- Agree to a background check (if selected as a finalist)
- Be willing to participate in media and donor opportunities
Who can submit a nomination for the Military Child of the Year® Awards?Answer...
Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors, grandparents, and anyone familiar with the child’s achievements.
Who can submit an application for the Military Child of the Year® Innovation Award?Answer...
Any eligible military child can submit an application so long as they complete the required fields in the online application form.
Can I mail in a nomination/application?Answer...
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept submissions outside our online system.
My child was nominated for the Military Child of the Year® Award. Can he/she still apply for the Military Child of the Year® Innovation Award?Answer...
Yes! While your child can only win one award, he/she can be considered for both.
Are children of Reserve service members eligible for this award?Answer...
Yes. Please apply under your corresponding service branch. Children must meet all eligibility requirements including evidence of their status as a military dependent.
Are children of National Guard service members eligible for this award?Answer...
Yes! Please apply under the appropriate National Guard category. In the past, children of National Guard service members applied under their corresponding Army or Air Force category. We've determined that it was time to celebrate our National Guard kids with their own award category in consideration of the unique demands placed on post 9/11 era National Guard families and the inclusion of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Are children of a retired veteran eligible for this award?Answer...
If the Veteran is a "military retiree", the child is eligible to apply. A military retiree is any member or former member of the uniformed services who is entitled, under statute, to retired, retirement, or retainer pay on account of service as a member, or who receives military retired or retainer pay.
Why are there now eight awards instead of seven?Answer...
Space Force was officially created in December 2019, so we added the eighth award in order to continue to honor a child from every service branch.
Are children of a deceased service member eligible to apply for this award?Answer...
Yes, so long as the child is treated as a military dependent (with DEERS enrollment and benefits) as a result of their deceased parent's service, the child is eligible to apply. Children of a parent KIA/MIA are generally eligible so long as they continue to be eligible for military dependent status.
Why are nominations/applications limited to children age 13 to 18?Answer...
From 2008 to 2016, Military Child of the Year nominees were required to be between the ages of 8 and 18. When the Innovation Award category began in 2015, the age requirement was determined to be ages 13-18. A question was raised whether the age requirements should be the same for all Military Child of the Year nominees. After further discussion, it was agreed that the age criteria would be the same for all nominations for 6 military branches and the Innovation Award. Eligibility criteria now requires that all nominees be between the ages of 13-18.
My child is 12, is he/she eligible?Answer...
No. Eligible children must be between the ages of 13-18 at the time of the nomination/application to qualify. If your child is currently 12, please apply next year!
My child is 18 but will turn 19 before the Gala ceremony in April, is he/she eligible?Answer...
Yes, otherwise eligible children must be between the ages of 13-18 at the time of the nomination/application to qualify. So long as the child meets the qualification at time of nomination/application, they are eligible.
My child is a Semi-Finalist! What can I send to prove dependent status?Answer...
Please make a copy of the Form 1172- DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) application clearly showing your child's name and age. Please black out any social security and/or DoD ID numbers.
Will COVID-19 impact the Gala ceremony in April 2021?Answer...
Due to COVID-19, our gala this past year was cancelled. To celebrate the achievements of our amazing award recipients, we hosted an online virtual celebration that lasted two weeks with videos, blogs, and messages of support from our partners and community. Recipients received their prizes in the mail. While we hope to celebrate and honor our recipients in person in 2021, if the pandemic is still impacting public gatherings, we will likely shift our ceremony to an online virtual celebration again.
When do recipients receive their prizes?Answer...
All award recipients will receive their laptop and cash award on or near the date of the Gala in Washington DC.
Do I need to pay taxes on the prizes?Answer...
Tax regulations change frequently. Operation Homefront recommends Recipient's parents consult with their family tax professional.