Family's popularity rises with Army advertising campaign
August 19, 2009
As the spouse of a command sergeant major, Ingrid Murray is accustomed to talking to Soldiers and their spouses about things and events that affect their lives.
Now, thanks to an Army media campaign, the Murray's are unofficial faces of the Army Family Covenant. Ingrid, her son John Jr. and her husband, Command Sgt. Maj. L. Murray, U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command were selected to be part of the advertising campaign and had their photo on a full page spread in the July issue of Soldiers Magazine.
"I was volunteering at the Fort Belvoir North Post Child Development Center and the director said MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) was looking to showcase families that have been directly impacted by the Army Family Covenant," said Ingrid.
"We were interviewed and then were selected. This is an honor for our family." The direct impact of the Army Family Covenant on the Murray household has been in the areas of education and employment opportunities for family members. As a result of the covenant, programs such as the Employment Readiness Program, Army Spouse Employment Partnership, as well as the military spouse job search web site, has increased the availability of education and job placement resources.
"By utilizing the resources available through Army Community Service and the Soldier and Family Service Assistance Center, I am now employed full time with the Army Criminal Investigations Command," she said.
In addition, other actions directly affecting family members at Fort Belvoir include extended hours at the child development center, the building of a new daycare center and lower fees at various activities.
"Just last week I talked to a fellow military spouse who was happy that she did not have to pay registration fees for her children to enroll at the Child Development Center. The Army Family Covenant funding allowed elimination of this fee. In tight financial times those fee reductions are greatly appreciated," she said.
As a recipient of the benefits of the covenant, Ingrid said doing the ads were a chance to show her support. "These ads are a great outreach initiative," she said. "I have had fellow spouses and soldiers call and say, 'Hey, I saw your family in those ads.'
We begin to talk and discuss how much the covenant communicates the Army's commitment to provide the Army family a quality of life that honors the sacrifices that our Soldiers and family members make to protect the United States of America's freedom.
It is great to hear how the Army Covenant touches so many Army families, including ours." The ads have increased the visibility of this already popular family. "We went to the Army Soldier Show and saw our faces on the screen as an advertisement for the Army Covenant. We got a phone call from friends who were on the Fort Rucker MWR web site and saw our faces, and now people are calling us about seeing us in Soldiers Magazine."
"I received calls and emails from friends around the globe," said Command Sgt. Maj. Murray. "I was TDY in Kuwait when the issue of Soldiers came out and I think everyone saw it before me "Families are the cornerstone to any military career. The Army has officially recognized this through the Army Family Covenant and has increased awareness and support to family through this program."
"The Army recognized the importance of a spouse's happiness with Army life, or as my husband says "if mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy," Ingrid said.