FORT BENNING, Ga. (Oct. 17, 2012) -- The Fort Benning Army Family Action Plan Conference is set for Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.

Those interested in submitting an issue for the conference should do so by Oct. 26, said Starla de Saussure, AFAP program manager.

Soldiers, Family members, retirees, survivors, and Department of the Army civilians are eligible to submit issues.

"The AFAP conference offers … (opportunities) to address issues that will improve standards of living as well as support programs that foster informed and resilient individuals," de Saussure said.

Recently, de Saussure said, 691 AFAP issues resulted in 128 legislative changes, 170 Department of Defense or Department of the Army policy chance and 200 improved programs, services or funding.

"Submitting issues does make a difference." de Saussure said. "One of my favorite issues involves Soldiers being able to pass their GI Bill benefits to their spouse or dependents. Many Soldiers retire and then immediately begin a second career. Some have taken advantage of Tuition Assistance and obtained degrees while in the military. With a 10 year 'expiration' -- time sometimes passes so quickly Soldiers end up forfeiting this valuable benefit. Having the ability to pass this on to fund your spouse or children's education is invaluable."

How do you submit issues?
In order to submit issues, individuals can use the Army One Source website at Go to "Family Programs and Services," under the first tab and then click on the second tab, called "Army Family Action Plan Issue Management." Enter you zip code, which will submit your issue to your installation AFAP program manager.

Another way to submit an issue, de Saussure said, is by going to www. and click on "Family," followed by "Army Community Service," and finally, click on "Army Family Action Plan."

Individuals can also submit a copy by emailing de Saussure to obtain a form.

She suggests keeping in mind the following questions when writing an issue:
•What is the problem?
•What are the facts and how does it impact you?
•How would you fix it?
•Who does this affect?
How does the AFAP process work?

"The AFAP process begins at the garrison level culminating in an annual conference to examine and resolve issues," de Saussure said. "The AFAP delegates develop issues through workgroup discussion."

Some issues require resolution through higher authority and are forwarded to the middle-level conference, de Saussure said. Army Commands, Army Service Component Commands and Direct Reporting Units host the mid-level conference. Post issues are forwarded to TRADOC.

"Those mid-level issues with Armywide applicability are forwarded by Mission commanders to the Army Chief of Staff for Installation Management to be reviewed by delegates at the Headquarters Department of the Army AFAP Conference," she said.

Those who attend the Fort Benning AFAP conference are usually selected by nomination through their commands to fill certain demographics such as active duty, dual military, single Soldiers and survivors, de Saussure said.

For more information or to get a form, email de Saussure at or call 706-545-3016.

Page last updated Fri October 19th, 2012 at 10:43