USASOC Family members, Civilians, Soldiers, leadership identify top concerns


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Sine Pari, June 17, 2008) – The U.S. Army Special Operations Command held its 2008 Army Family Action Plan conference June 10 – 12 to decide the top issues facing USASOC and Army families.

Thirty-eight representatives, made up of Department of Army civilians, family members, retirees and Soldiers from across USASOC, gathered at a local conference center on the out skirts of Fayetteville, N.C., to discuss, identify and formulate family-focused issues so it could be briefed to the USASOC Chief of Staff Col. Andrew Milani.

The work done by the delegates during the conference is a combat multiplier, said Milani during the opening remarks for the conference. When a Soldier does not have to worry about what is going on back on the home front he is much more able to focus on his job at the front line.

During the two days, delegates were broken into four small groups and each discussed issues within a specific subject area, such as medical or entitlements. Once the groups came to a consensus on what the major issues were, they then met with subject matter experts to help formulate the issues in to a format to be briefed to command leadership.

The final day, the issues from each group were briefed to Milani and then the delegates voted for the top-five issues discussed during the conference.

As voted by the delegates this year’s top five are:
Number 1: Medical provider continuity
Number 2: Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) services coverage for retiree family members
Number 3: Standardized housing wait list application procedures
Number 4: Permanent change of station (PCS) frequency
Number 5: Homeowners assistance program expansion

Later these issues will be briefed to USASOC Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner and he will decide which two issues will be briefed at the Department of the Army level during its annual conference.

This is an important process,” said, first-time AFAP participant, 1st Lt. Ryan Gardner, platoon leader, 112th Signal Battalion. “Many of the important issues affecting our families are brought up here. They are not just USASOC issues but Army issues. I think more Soldiers need to be involved.”

Family members, as did Soldiers, understood the importance of the conference after experiencing it first hand.

“This is a learning experience, but very rewarding,” said Angie Morales, Family Readiness Group Leader, 1st Special Forces Group, Fort Lewis, Wash. “Knowing that some of the issues we have presented might be implemented throughout the Army.”

USASOC AFAP conferences in the past have had noted success at the Army level. Examples of USASOC issues resolved at the Army level would be, more funding for refractive eye surgery clinics at major installations and most recently the leave carryover going from 60 days to now 75.

Morales, an Army spouse of 10 years, added she will strongly encourage the members of her FRG to become more actively involved in the AFAP process.

“One voice can make a difference,” said Morales. “When we combine those voices we can be heard loud and clear.”


Voting results from the Army Family Action Plan conference are handed to Col. Andrew Milani, U.S. Army Special Operations Command chief of staff. The conference closed June 12. (U.S. Army photo by Gillian M. Albro, USASOC PAO)
How's about wearing a pair of PANTS when you're at a conference, not some tight-ass pair of shorts???? :mad:

Maybe (just maybe) even tucking in your shirt...