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Family Readiness Group Defined


Family Readiness Group (FRG) Description

*Paraphrasing DA Pamphlet 608-47, the FRG is “an organization of Family members, volunteers, Soldiers, and civilian employees belonging to a unit/organization who together provide an avenue of mutual support and assistance and a network of communication among the members, the chain of command, and community resources.”  Unit FRGs consist of all assigned and attached Soldiers (married and single), their spouses, and children. This membership is automatic, and participation is voluntary.  Extended Families, fiancées, boy/girlfriends, retirees, DA civilians, and even interested community members can and should be included, as well.

The FRG mission is “to assist commanders in maintaining readiness of Soldiers, Families, and communities within the Army by promoting self-sufficiency, resiliency, and stability during peace and war.”

Goals of a FRG

  1. Build Soldier and Family cohesion and morale;

  2. Prepare Soldiers and Families for separation during deployments and, later, for the stresses of reunion;

  3. Reduce Soldier and Family stress;

  4. Reduce the commander’s and other leaders’ workloads;

  5. Help Soldiers focus on their mission during deployments;

  6. Help Families become more self-sufficient;

  7. Provide an avenue for sharing timely, accurate information; and

  8. Promote better use of post and community resources.

A FRG is:

  1.  an information conduit;

  2.  a welcoming organization;

  3.  a self-help, referral organization;

  4.  a source of social support and group activities; and

  5.  a unit Family dedicated to achieving social and military goals.

A FRG is not:

  1.  a babysitting service,

  2.  a taxi service,

  3.  a financial institution,

  4.  a professional counseling agency, or

  5.  another military organization.

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For spouses and Family members, the FRG gives a sense of belonging to the unit and the Army community—the Army Family. It provides a way to develop friendships, share important information, obtain referrals to needed Army resources, and share moral support during unit deployments. For the long-term, involvement in FRG activities can foster more positive attitudes among Army families and provide a better understanding of military life, the unit, and its mission.

For Soldiers, peace of mind—Soldiers can be assured that their family members will be more self-sufficient and will have reliable and friendly support while they are deployed. This peace of mind can help Soldiers focus on their work, perform better, relate better to other Soldiers, and be safer while they’re on a training or real-world mission.

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By regulation, the unit commander is responsible for establishing and supporting the unit FRG.  Ideally, family readiness is managed from the  top, and commanders have unit family readiness performance goals they must meet. Clearly, they can’t meet those goals alone; they must identify capable spouse leadership and delegate clear responsibilities and the authority that goes with them to the spouse volunteers.

Military members should not be FRG leaders. Commanders should  encourage participation by all unit  Soldiers and Families in FRG activities, which is best accomplished in a friendly, informal setting. Face it—Soldiers of all grades will want to belong and will want their families to participate if the FRG is relaxed, democratic, meaningful, and fun.  Remember, Soldiers neither need nor want “another army within the Army.”

Roles of FRG Advisors

  • Oversee and support FRG activities in the command

  • Provide assistance to FRG leaders

  • Coordinate with the Battalion Commander on family readiness policies and special issues

Roles of FRG Leaders

  • Support Company Commander’s family readiness goals

  • Provides overall leadership for the unit FRG

  • Recruit other volunteers for key FRG positions (or presides over elections)

  • Supervise planning and running of all FRG events for their company

  • Preside over FRG events

  • Review FRG fund status and newsletters

  • Ensure that all members are involved in group decisions and events

  • Ensure that key information is conveyed to members

  • Ensures that their company FRG phonetree is functional and up-to-date

  • Represent  their company FRG at the BN Steering Group Meetings