- What is Family Readiness?
The Department of Defense defines Family readiness as the state of being prepared to effectively navigate the challenges of daily living experienced in the unique context of military service.
The Army is comprised of nearly one million Soldiers across all components and has roughly 1.3 million Family members. The strength of the Army hinges on their collective readiness. Army Families make selfless contributions every day to support Soldiers and Army readiness. Army Families endure challenges unique to military communities, such as frequent Soldier deployments for operational, contingency or training missions around the world.
What is a Soldier & Family Readiness Group (SFRG)?
A Soldier/Family Readiness Group is a command sponsored organization of Family members, volunteers, Soldiers, and civilian employees belonging to a unit, that together provide an avenue of mutual support and assistance and a network of communications among the Family members, the chain of command, chain of concern, and community resources.
- What are the roles within the FRG?
Army Command Policy 600-1 (06 November 2014) and The Army Leader’s Desk Reference for Soldier/Family Readiness provides specific guidance for the command roles. Additional material is provided in the R.E.A.L. SFRG Command Team Training.
- First Sergeant
- Command Sergeants Major
Command Family Readiness Representative (CFRR):
Provides operational (primary advisor to the SFRG on all military matters), administrative (ensure SFRG rosters are up to date) and logistical support (coordinate volunteer training) to the SFRG leadership. Moniters and maintains oversight of the Command Soldier and Family Readiness Program. CFRR duties are assigned by the commander.
ACS offers a quarterly CFRR Academy where CFRR's can learn more about:
CFRR Role/Leadership Management
Communication Network & Critical Incidents
Non-Mission Essential Activities & Resources
Volunteer SFRG Leaders:
Often, the SFRG leader is the commander’s spouse, though not always. Any spouse in the unit who is willing and able to lead the efforts of the SFRG can serve as SFRG leader. The commander may select the leader, or the leader may be elected by the SFRG membership. Either way, the commander prepares and signs appointment orders for the leader. However, after the SFRG leader is selected, he or she needs to obtain the proper training.
The Army Leaders’ Desk Reference for Soldier/Family Readiness defines the SFRG Leader roles as:
- Supports the commander’s family readiness goals
- Provides overall leadership of the SFRG
- Recruits other volunteers to serve on SFRG committees
- Delegates SFRG responsibilities to selected volunteers as committee chairpersons, or presides over their elections
- Serves as a member of the battalion-level steering committee
- Identifies needs or unique problems of unit families
- Acts as unit SFRG spokesperson for communicating family members’ concerns and ideas to the unit commander and, if needed, the battalion-level SFRG leader
The SFRG is not a one-person job, therefore, additional volunteers need to be recruited in order to build a team that works together for the good of the Families in the unit.
Additional information is also discussed in the SFRG Leader Essentials and SFRG Leader Advanced Courses.
The Family Member:
Unit Soldier & Family Readiness Groups (SFRGs) foster a sense of belonging to the unit and community, and provide a vehicle for Families to develop friendships while they gain information about the unit and community. In addition, they provide information and referral, and share support during deployments. Through successful SFRG efforts, many spouses have developed a more positive attitude toward themselves, a better understanding of why deployments are necessary and the Army mission to maintain readiness.
SFRGs provide support that communicates command caring, genuine care, and as open and honest communication as possible. This allows Soldiers to trust in that care, which enables them to concentrate on the mission at hand, and have the emotional readiness to carry out that mission. SFRGs help develop a confidence in Soldiers that Family members will receive reliable and friendly support when the Soldier is away. This can be a meaningful stabilizer for Soldier performance in the unit, and an enhancer of training and psychological readiness to fight.
- Family Readiness Guidance (Policies & Regulations)
Army Directive 2019-17 (Changes to the Soldier and Family Readiness Group Program). This directive established an official name change to refer to FRG's henceforth as SFRG's, Soldier and Family Readiness Group. It also establishes policy changes to fundraising, reporting, and informal fund activities for the Soldier and Family Readiness Group (SFRG) Program. It supercedes AR 608-1, Appendix J
HQDA EXORD 233-19 Army-Wide Implementation of the Soldier and Family Readiness Group Dated 16DEC19 is designed to add clarification of the Army Directive 2019-17.
The Army Regulation that governs all Soldier and Family Readiness Group operations is Army Regulation 608-1, Appendix J
Army Command Policy contains guidance on Army Family readiness at para 5-2, page 48 Army Regulation 600-20 (dated 24 July 2020)
The Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1342.22 establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and establishes procedures for the provision of Family readiness services.
Fort Carson Administrative Law provides some Fort Carson info papers on SFRG's
*NEW Fort Carson's new Food Vendor Approval policy allows unit events that are limited in scope, not open to the public, under 300 attendees (or any other SEVA requirement), and has food prepared only by those attending the event to serve food without vendor approvals. See page 2, para Cof the Fort Carson GC Policy #7: Food Vendor Approval
Family Readiness Resources:
Fort Carson "Pass It On" weekly newsletter to keep yourself and your SFRG informed!
Your Soldier, Your Army is a guide that any Family member will find helpful!
Employment Resources for Military Spouses:
The Blue Star Spouse Employment Toolkit can help in translating Military Spouses' Lived Experience into Strong Resumes
Visit the Army Community Service Employment Readiness Program at https://carson.armymwr.com/programs/employment-readiness for a multitude of resources to help with your career plan and job search!
Click here for pre-deployment, deployment, and reunion resources.
- Leader's Toolbox for SFRG's
COVID-19 SPECIFIC VIRTUAL CONNECTION RESOURCES
Your SFRG can use the below resources in emails, on social media and in other virtual platforms to set up contests, virtual get-togethers or other SFRG connection activities:
Looking for tools to use in operating the SFRG, resources that others have created, or handouts to provide or use at your SFRG events? Here are some great tools to use:
- SFRG R.E.A.L. Smartbook
- SFRG Leader Binder Table of Contents
- SAMPLE SFRG Task List
- SFRG Annual Planning Tips
- SFRG Article on Building Leadership Teams
- SAMPLE Questions for SFRG Leader, Commander, FRL
- SAMPLE SFRG SOP
- SFRG Monthly Meeting Template
- Tips for Running and Effective Meeting
- Tips for Fun and Successful Meetings
- SFRG Meeting Minutes Template
- Meeting Sign-In Sheet
- Icebreaker Ideas
- SFRG Event Checklist
- Factors That Motivate Volunteers
- 4ID Meeting Location Matrix
- 4ID SFRG OIP Checklist
BUILDING THE FRG ROSTER/COMMUNICATION
- Sample SFRG wire diagram/key caller Roster
- Sample Statement of Complete Non-Participation
- Sample Family Member Emergency Information
- Sample SFRG spreadsheet Roster
- Sample SFRG Roster
- Sample SFRG Family Data Sheet
- Sample BN Inprocessing Soldiers to the SFRG
- Sample SFRG Communication Tree
- Sample Key Contact and Communication Log
- Sample Key Caller Problem Resolution Form
- vFRG Quick-Start for Family Member
- vFRG Quick-Start for Sponsor
- vFRG Site Adminstrator Mobile Guide
- vFRG Uploading the Sponsor Database
- Social Media Handbook
- Social Media Protection Handbook (A Handbook for Privacy & Security Settings)
- Social Media & SFRG's
- Social Media for SFRG's
- Social Media and Personal Conduct for Soldiers
- Social Media Considerations for Deployed Personnel and their Families
- OPSEC for Social Media
- OPSEC Social Media Checklist
- Social Media Tip Card
- U.S. Army Social Media has a website here for for more information on having a social media presence.
- REACH has done some good research and compiled survey results on Social Media Communicatin with Military Spouses
Look for complete information on volunteer registration, VMIS, volunteer awards, etc. on the Volunter webpage HERE
- Sample SFRG Volunteer Roster
- Volunteer Code of Ethics
- Volunteer Recognition Ideas
- Volunteer Recognition Ideas
- SFRG Leader Volunteer Position Description
- SFRG Informal Fund Custodian Volunteer Position Description
- SFRG Key Contact Volunteer Position Description
- Additional SFRG Volunteer Position Descriptions
- How to apply for an EIN online
- SFRG Financial Audit Template
- SAMPLE Informal Fund Audit
- Audit Memorandum Template
- *2019/2020 4ID Annual Informal Fund Activity Report Guidance (ANNEX I to DMO 20-1217)
- SAMPLE Inter-Unit SFRG Fundraiser Request Form
- Fort Carson Food Handler Training
- FRG Fundraiser AAR Template
- The Fort Carson Informal Funds Registration Form is completed by the SFRG Fund Custodian/Treasurer if your SFRG intends to have funds. The completed registration form should be returned to DFMWR through email@example.com
- To report unit-area fundraisers or request outside-unit-area fundraisers, submit the Fort Carson SFRG Fundraising Request Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do You Hear What I Mean (self-reflection exercise on communitcating in different situations
- Emotional Cycle of Deployment Worksheet (helping develop coping strategies)
- Family Communication Around Household Roles and Responsibilities
- Finding Balance
- Just Breathe
- Move the Body, Relax the Mind
Fort Carson Army Community Service is here to serve the Family Readiness community of SFRG members, volunteers, and leaders along with Command Family Readiness Representatives (CFRR's) and commanders/Rear Detachment commanders.