FORT BRAGG, N.C. - At any point in an organization's history, a forum may be held to bring good ideas into concert; to gather information that transforms those organizations goals into tangible realities that could prove beneficial for its members and customers.

And so it was that Fort Bragg held its Family Readiness Group forum, themed "The Future FRG", Tuesday, at the Fort Bragg Club.

The forum is important because a key goal is to look at ways to make a program viable for an institution -- an organization, said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, commander, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg.

As the Army faces budget challenges, reassessing FRGs role in a changing Army is vitally important, said Helmick.

"If you don't change, you become irrelevant," he said.

Melissa, Helmick's wife, serves as the senior spouse advisor for FRGs on Fort Bragg. She was very clear on the significance of FRGs to Families.

"FRGs have been a source of information; a social time where I've really felt connected to other people in the military and that's why I've enjoyed the service so much," she said.

The FRG, according to information distributed at the forum, is an organization of Family members, volunteers, Soldiers and civilian employees who belong to a unit or organization. Together they provide support and a network of communication among those members, the chain of command and community resources.

As an FRG leader for the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, Heather O'Brien said one of the goals of the FRG is to get information at the company level and not rely on a Family readiness support assistant or commander too much.

Tuesday's forum allowed FRG-connected individuals to discuss the goals of the program as well as pinpoint the specifics of what a commander may want from an FRG.

Participants were divided into different breakout rooms and some of the issues discussed were the idea of instituting monthly meetings with the command and holding monthly steering committee meetings. Other breakout groups were FRSAs, senior spouses and advisors, first sergeants spouses and command teams.

Other issues addressed pertained to topics such as fundraising, volunteer recruitment, childcare and resilience.

One spouse best summed up why she thinks people should get involved in Fort Bragg's FRG program.

"This is the new Family and we all share the same experiences," said Yolanda Latiff.

Latiff has been involved in the FRG program for seven months and she encourages others to take part in the program.

Page last updated Fri March 16th, 2012 at 14:58