Saturday, December 11, 2010

So what the heck is FRG, Anyway?

ArmyFRG is your direct connection to Command information for your unit. They keep you noticed on what is happening in the local community. They are your contact about your spouses deployment. This is a GREAT resource. Get to know your contact!!!

Family Readiness Groups

An FRG is a battery/company affiliated organization of military members and family members who utilize volunteers to provide social and emotional support, outreach services, and information to families before, during, and between family separations, deployments, extended tours of temporary duty and field training exercises.

the main purpose of an FRG, is to educate families on the resources available to them as military families.  This is an on-going education and mentoring  process. 

The goal of all FRGs is to produce families who are sustaining and self-sufficient
An FRG is NOT responsible for:
·         Acting as surrogate parents
·         Acting as social workers
·         Lending money, cars, or other expensive items
·         Supporting a divided "club" atmosphere (i.e. enlisted/officer, single/married spouses/parents etc…)
·         Providing a babysitting service
Duplicating Department of the Army, post, or community activities and resources (i.e. providing food, money, legal advice, etc.)

The FRG is based on volunteerism.  By military regulations thebattery/company commander is ultimately responsible for the establishment and support of the FRG, but the operation and functionality of the group depends on the level of involvement of its volunteers   A volunteer chairperson or leader is officially appointed by the commander to help organize and lead the FRG.

The volunteer FRG leader is responsible for organizing meetings, creating and sending  newsletters, maintaining a phone tree, and/or assisting with activities, events, and fundraisers.

The FRG volunteers are made up of any Soldiers, spouses, or family members associated with the unit who hold key positions within the FRG i.e. Asst. Leader, Sec/Tres, Historian, Committee Members etc…  Some volunteers will be "Key Callers" or "Points of Contact."    The POCs' names appear at the top of a FRG Phone Tree and they are responsible for calling the people listed below their name to relay messages from the commander and/or FRG leader. Although all positions within the FRG structure are voluntary, commanders should recognize them as part of his/her special staff a treated accordingly.

Family Readiness Group Framework
It may be helpful to view Family Readiness in this way.  Starting with families at the center of all family readiness events, there are three main goals of the FRG.  Preparing families for separation from the military member, educating families on the mission and responsibilities of military families, and communicating regularly with all families are all an integral part of maintaining healthy family relationships.  If the FRG is structured so that one or more of these goals is being met with any planned event, both planning and execution of the event will be more successful.


The primary goal of any Family Readiness Group should be to maintain readiness for any type of separation - field exercise, deployment, schools, etc.  Through regularly scheduled FRG meetings, newsletters, phone tree messages, classes, and deployment readiness briefings, all families should be better equipped to deal with the stresses associated with separation.


Educating families on the military way of life, responsibilities of the military member, and unit mission can help alleviate frustration and confusion when separations occur.  Organizations such as Guard Family Team Building (GFTB), Guard Family Action Plan (GFAP), Operation READY, and Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) programs are great ways to educate families on how to better handle the issues that arise in the military.


Communicating regularly with all military families helps create unit cohesion and can eliminate many problems that arise due to gossip, misinformation, and/or rumors that may circulate within  your unit. 


  1. Support single Soldiers
    1. Welcome new Soldiers in the monthly newsletter
    2. Provide Christmas stockings with goodies
    3. Provide Easter goody baskets/bags
    4. Recognize birthdays with cupcakes, quarterly; in newsletter, monthly
    5. Provide each Soldier with monthly newsletter
  2. Support married Soldiers, spouses, and children
    1. Welcome new comers
      1. Welcome Committee
      2. Welcome packets
    1. Holiday parties
    2. Family events
  1. Maintain effective communication with all Soldiers and families
b.      Maintaining and distributing current phone tree rosters
c.       Mailing monthly newsletters to each family
d.      Providing copies of monthly newsletters for Soldiers to read 
e.       Utilizing email messages to send information to families
d.      Educate Soldiers and family members on the mission of our unit 
a.       a. Newsletters
b FRG meetings, classes/workshops
c.       Soldier formations
d.      FRG activities
e.       Prepare Soldiers and family members for deployment/redeployment
a.       Sponsor briefings throughout any deployment /mobilization process
b.      Provide referral and resource information for pre-deployment, deployment and post deployment periods.

Obviously, these types of goals are better met when all leaders in the unit actively support them.  The commander, MPOC, FRG leader, and volunteers must work together to create an environment where military members  and families feel comfortable and welcome.  Once the environment is set,  families are more likely to attend meetings and events.  This sets the stage for preparing military members and families for separations, educating them on military and unit issues, and maintaining open communication, and that will pave the way for a successful, effective Family Readiness Group.

Adapted in part from information obtained from, article entitled What is a Family Readiness Group, by Traci Cook.                 

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