QUANTICO, Va. — Brittany Boccher, the spouse of Master Sgt. Adam Boccher, an Air Force Office of Special Investigations special agent, from Detachment 327 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, had a memorable year in 2016.
Boccher was selected as the 2016 Little Rock AFB Military Spouse of the Year and the AFOSI Deborah Law Spouse of the Year. That was only the beginning.
Her momentum snowballed in 2017 when she was named the Air Force Spouse of the Year for the second time, and culminated with her earning the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Award. The announcement was made May 12, 2017, during the annual awards luncheon ceremony at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., on Military Spouse Appreciation Day which honors the commitment and sacrifice of military spouses everywhere.
Brittany accepted the award in front of more than 250 of the nation’s top military supporters. The next morning she appeared before a national television audience in New York City on “FOX and Friends.”
“Brittany is one more example of just how special this OSI family really is, and we’re very fortunate to have her as one of us,” wrote Brig. Gen. Keith M. Givens, the AFOSI commander, in a congratulatory enterprise-wide email. “She is one impressive spouse, mother and volunteer.”
Her road to the Defense Department award included her second straight Little Rock AFB MSOY award, followed by winning at the Top 18 Regional level and then at the Branch (Air Force) level.
The overall winner was decided by a professional judging panel and a record online national vote of more than 100,000 ballots cast which ended March 2 for the six service branch winners (Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard). This year’s competition began with more than 1,000 nominations spanning the Defense Department.
“There are so many outstanding Air Force spouses who are dedicated to making exceptional changes in our military community,” Boccher said early in the competition. “To be recognized among them is an honor in itself and to be awarded the overall Air Force Spouse of the Year is an absolute privilege which I humbly accept.”
The Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year program recognizes military spouses’ important contributions and unwavering commitment to the military community and our country. Judging criteria includes: impact on community change, volunteer efforts, personal sacrifice, professional pursuits, goals and specific efforts to support the military community.
Boccher, a self-proclaimed “seasoned Air Force spouse of 11 years,” along with the other five MSOY contenders submitted profiles of themselves for judging. Among her litany of 2016 accomplishments, many significantly improved the lives of others.
She is president of the Little Rock AFB Spouses’ Club and helped increase participation by 800 percent resulting in the club stocking the on-base food pantry to maximum capacity; providing backpacks for more than 300 military children; collecting and packaging more than 75 care packages for deployed troops; and supporting the school by purchasing physical education equipment and assisting in the building of pollinator gardens.
Boccher participated in the signing of House Bill 1162, the Retired Military Tax Cut in Arkansas. Its passage creates tax relief for military retirees beginning in January 2018.
She is the founder and director of the Down Syndrome Advancement Coalition “Tank Filled Life” project, educating and advocating for individuals with Down syndrome. The coalition partners with active Down syndrome organizations in Arkansas on behalf of Down syndrome families, like the Bouchers themselves. Back on LRAFB she identified a need for and teamed with base officials to achieve a playground with accessible therapeutic swings supporting children with physical disabilities.
Boccher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in community health education and kinesiology and a Master’s Degree in nonprofit leadership and management which enabled her to establish two personal businesses plus mentor and encourage nearly a dozen fellow military spouses on becoming small business owners.
“I’m thankful for those who believe in me and encourage me to continue my work mentoring spouses, fighting for inclusion and equal rights and opportunities for people with special needs,” she said. “It’s beyond gratifying to represent the Air Force and be trusted by so many of my peers to represent our wonderful military spouse community.”
Boccher is the third Air Force spouse and second AFOSI spouse to win at the DOD-level since the award’s inception in 2008. Lori Bell took the honor in 2010 and Jeremy Hilton, spouse of then Lt. Col. (now Col.) Renae M. Hilton (soon to be commander of AFOSI’s 4th Field Investigations Region) won the award in 2012.
“I’m extremely proud but most of all I’m thankful for the opportunity to share this with my family and be an example to my daughter of how one person can make change happen,” she said.