With more than 30 years of experience in leading special operations and regular U. S. Army units, Major General David Haight served as the Director of Operations for the U. S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. By profession an infantry officer, David Haight is well aware of the value of Family Readiness Groups (FRG) in maintaining Army morale. Wherever he and his wife have been stationed, she has contributed to that group.
FRGs benefit the service family, the Soldier, the unit as a whole, and its base. For the family member, FRGs provide a system of supportive friends, especially during deployments. Families learn about the unit’s activities and have a better understanding of the importance of military missions.
While they are gone, the FRG system gives Soldiers confidence their families are well and safe. It also demonstrates that their commanders care about Soldiers’ families and are keeping them as informed as possible.
At the unit level, FRGs aid group cohesion and individual readiness. Resources available to FRGs strengthen families so they can support each other during crises and absences. Potentially, this assistance can reduce distractions during training and missions.
Through education and prevention at military installations, FRGs can identify troubles within families and quickly provide help. These interventions can enhance family interdependence and resilience and reduce the load on community and Army agencies. FRGs work with other Army resources that sponsor new arrivals, reach out to families living outside the base, and counsel families stressed by deployment.