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Army National Guard (ARNG) Strong Bonds Program

What is it?
The Strong Bonds Program is a unit-based, chaplain-led process that helps Soldiers and their Families build stronger relationships. Training events include Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, Premarital Interpersonal Choice and Knowledge, Eight Healthy Habits of a Successful Family, and Family Wellness.

What has the ARNG done?
The ARNG spent $7.1 Million during FY08 that supported nearly 300 events throughout the 50 states and 4 territories, and trained nearly 15,000 Soldiers and their spouses.  Funding included training materials, fees, transportation, food, lodging, and childcare for members of the armed forces and their Family members. In FY08, the ARNG conducted three Strong Bonds training events for Title X Soldiers. The ARNG received budgeting validation in the FY10 Program Objective Memorandum for $7.4 Million to support the program.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The Office of the Chief of Chaplains, Director of Ministry Initiative provides training and materials for the full menu of Strong Bonds programs. For FY09, the ARNG is planning to conduct another cycle of Strong Bonds events.

Why is this important to the Army?
Since 9/11, the ARNG has activated and deployed more than 345,000 Soldiers. In FY08, more than 9,000 ARNG Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and more than 43,000 Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. With such an intense operational tempo, and with so many Soldiers being deployed, it is increasingly critical that ARNG Soldiers deploy with the training provided through the Strong Bonds Program. This training better equips Soldiers and their Families to cope with extended separations due to operational deployments.

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