4-H Youth Development

Nevada 4-H Military

Operation Military Kids Logo

What is 4-H Military?

Operation Military Kids (OMK) is focused on helping military families cope with the difficulties faced when a family member is deployed to support the U.S. military in the global war on terrorism. OMK offers several programs which are designed to build community support for these families, provide educational and social activities for their children and youth, and educate community leaders in the difficulties young people face when a loved one is mobilized for active duty.

4-H Clubs in communities have opened their doors to military youth living off post and to youth of National Guard and Reserve families. As military families move frequently, 4-H Clubs provide predictability and stability, and military parents are ensured that their children are in safe and nurturing environments.

The 4-H Operation Military Kids Program uses juried curricula and educational programming designed to develop and enhance:

  • Leadership abilities
  • Citizenship awareness
  • Decision-making skills
  • Social-interaction skills
  • Diversity/difference skills
  • Learning/comprehension skills
  • Self esteem and coping skills

What does 4-H Offer to Military Children and Youth?

4-H helps military children and youth develop friendships, connect with caring adults, find a network of support within their community, learn life skills and participate in fun, diverse activities. Because military children and youth are geographically dispersed, 4-H is located in 17 Nevada counties providing easy access for military families.

Purpose and Goals of the 4-H OMK Program

The 4-H OMK Program provides an excellent opportunity for youth to achieve his/her highest potential because of the availability to develop and enhance life skills.

The purpose of the 4-H OMK Program is to promote healthful development in youth - mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally.

The goals of the 4-H OMK Program are:

  • Positive youth development
  • Provide safe and welcoming environments
  • Provide programs for military youth living in civilian communities
  • Create community support for military youth when their parents are deployed
  • Support for military youth in coping with deployment of parents
  • Provide awareness of unique needs of military youth due to parent deployment
  • Educate the public on the impact of the deployment on the community and family

OMK Programs

Random images of military activities

Ready, Set, Go! Training

Operation: Military Kids (OMK) Ready, Set, Go! (RSG!) training provides community members a coordinated training effort to increase their understanding of the unique issues military youth face dealing with the deployment and reintegration of a parent or loved one. This training covers a variety of issues surrounding the effects of deployments on children and is an excellent tool in developing support networks for these young people. The program can be tailored to the needs and schedules of the audience. Target audiences include school leaders and counselors, community service organizations and local government agencies.

Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)

Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK) trains military and non-military youth in leadership, public speaking and visual presentation skills in order to establish youth speaker bureaus which go into the community to "speak out" for military kids and their families affected by the global war on terrorism.

The goals for SOMK are:

  • Fostering community support for the sacrifices military families make
  • Develop knowledge and skills in preparing creative and informative presentations using a variety of different media
  • Developing leadership, research, organization and public speaking skills
  • Increasing community awareness of issues faced by geographically-dispersed military children and youth

Mobile Technology Laboratory (MTL)

Nevada Operation Military Kids is the manager of the OMK Mobile Technology Laboratory (MTL). The MTL is a self-contained set of laptop computers, digital video and still photography equipment, printers and related computer software designed for use by children and youth of military families to create scrapbooks, greeting cards and art projects for their deployed family members. The MTL is available to military Family Readiness Groups, 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Clubs and our OMK partners for use in supporting the families of deployed military families in the state of Nevada. Read more in the MTL Information Paper.

Operation Purple Camp Nevada

Operation Purple Camp Nevada is a "teen-friendly" environment where youth ages 13 to 18 are offered training in personal leadership (leading myself, leading others and leading in the community), decision making and coping skills. Since many teens in deployment situations experience a low self-image, feelings of hopelessness and an inability to understand and communicate their personal feelings, our camp intervenes by providing a safe and stable environment in addition to a personal relationship with caring adults and an opportunity to experience success with other teens going through similar situations. Teen campers concentrate on expressing themselves through a variety of outlets including outdoor adventure activities such as biking, hiking, nature exploration, zip-lining, repelling and rock climbing to name a few. In addition, team building activities are ongoing throughout the camp. Teens work together to problem solve, strategize plans, and carryout and practice decision making skills. Further growth occurs through a self-reflection activity where teens spend a portion of each day recording their experiences, thoughts and feelings in a personal journal. To accomplish personal leadership, especially leading in community, teens organize and carryout a service day at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.


A brochure titled Nevada 4-H Youth Development: 4-H Military Program is available as a free download.


Eric Killian, State 4-H Military Liaison