The Inception of USMC Life
A few years ago, my Marine asked me what I thought about which Marine Corps Base I would prefer over another… I didn’t know anything about either duty station and ended up spending hours googling, only to get exhausted in the search with nothing concrete in hand. I knew right then and there that things needed to change and I was going to do something about it. I was tired of not knowing what kind of schools my kids were going to go to, what base housing was like, what activities there were to do, or understand the overall impact it would have on my family. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to create a community of spouses to get the ins and outs to families out there, hopefully saving on many bad haircuts, ‘I wished I would have known’ and missed opportunities.
I created USMC Life in July 2009, taking opinions from other military spouses who have lived on those bases. I tried creating a site filled with insider tips, school report cards and information about every major Marine Corps Base including base guides, base housing and photos, schools, youth programs and sports, getting to and from each installation and links helpful to Marines and their families. After I created the base guide, I decided to go another step further and create a referral guide for military spouses that not only Marine Corps families can utilize, but all of our nation’s services
We are not advocating that what you read on this site is fact, but merely opinions of other military spouses. It’s just an opinion ~ feel free to take it or leave it. Enjoy the journey!
Kristine Schellhaas’s success as an entrepreneur and nationally known advocate for military families is the result of her unwavering passion, fearless commitment, and unique authenticity. Kristine has spent nearly two decades with her Marine and her journey has provided inspiration and opportunity for those who call the military community their own.
Kristine founded and launched USMC Life in 2009 as a way to connect and educate military families during the daunting task of moving duty stations. She has dedicated thousands of volunteer hours helping military families aboard military installations as well as developing an online tool that provided its users with access to pertinent information for the whole family.
Within six years, she transformed USMC Life into a marketable business with organic website traffic of 2 million visitors a year, and several million people a month through social media. In January 2015, Kristine sold USMC Life to Bright Mountain Media, an owner, acquirer and manager of customized websites for military and public safety audiences. She will remain with the publication as editor and manager for the next three years.
Kristine and her husband, Ross, an active duty Marine, have had three children, endured five wartime deployments, and have moved 12 times over the course of their military marriage. Kristine is currently serving on the Military Family Advisory Network as a board member, as and has served on the Military Officer Association of America’s (MOAA) Spouse Advisory Council, and numerous other volunteer positions within the Department of Defense’s Key Volunteer network. Kristine was named AFI’s Military Spouse of the Year for military installations in 2013 and 2014 by Military Spouse Magazine.
Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Kristine has both a BBA in Business Management and a BBA in HR Management from Boise State University, and has earned an MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. She is a published author; her contribution to the anthology Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life brings light to the heartbreak of the sudden loss of her one-year-old son and the work it took for her family to find happiness again. She started The Happiness Challenge to help others in their pursuit of perspective.
Kristine’s new memoir, 15 Years of War, was released on June 1, 2016. Additionally, she is a sought-after public speaker and contributor to Military Spouse Magazine, Military.com, Marine Corps Times, Operation Homefront, MOAA, Blue Star Families, and more.
Kristine currently resides at Camp Pendleton in Southern California with her husband, two children, and dog. In her spare time, Kristine enjoys reading, as well as celebrating life and red wine with friends.
If you’re interested in learning more about Kristine Schellhaas, please visit her personal website to learn more about her media appearances, publications, and more.