The Army is rebooting its Family Readiness Groups (FRG) to shift “from a spouse group or spouse program to a commander’s program for soldier and family readiness,” MilitaryTimes.com reported Tuesday.
The shift, announced by Army family programs branch chief Col. Steve Lewis at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) annual meeting, will allow commanders to shape the group into what their soldiers and families need, according to the report.
In April former Army Secretary Mark Esper issued a directive changing the name of the FRG to soldier and family readiness group, easing some of the reporting restrictions and requirements of these groups. The groups were created after the first Gulf War when leaders and families called for more structure in family support.
“The commander needs to lead the soldier and family readiness group,” Lewis said. “They need to be able to link all these family members in the unit and the soldiers in the unit into one, and be able to continue to communicate with them and connect them to services and support that’s available.”
Army officials are currently drafting implementation guidance for commanders, Lewis said.
An Army Stand-To message states the policy update “is a paradigm shift away from a focus on social activities and fundraising to communicating, connecting members, information sharing, and connecting people with resources,” according to the MilitaryTimes.com report.
Connection and communication is a core task of these redefined groups, Lewis said. “Social support and connectedness are critical for family readiness.”
Army photo by David Poe