Army Extends Family Readiness Support Assistant Positions to Battalion Level
What is it? The Army is expanding the Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA) program to reach all the way to the battalion level, Army-wide, to support deployed Soldiers and their Families. Currently, there are slightly less than 400 FRSAs Army-wide, including Guard and Reserve units. They are primarily contract, term or temporary overhire positions, funded by Global War on Terrorism supplemental funding or unit funds, and managed by their respective Army Commands.
What has the Army done? Under the new program, approved by the Chief of Staff of the Army, the positions will be added to unit manning documents, centrally funded, and FMWRC will provide oversight to the program.
What continuing efforts does the Army have planned? The plan calls for an end-state of as many as 1,100 FRSAs throughout the Army, placing a support assistant in each battalion, brigade, division and corps headquarters. The FRSAs will hold DA Civilian positions, at the GS 6 level.
The FRSAs will remain a component of the unit commander's Family readiness program, and will be supervised by the commander or his designee. Their primary duties will be to provide administrative assistance in support of the unit's Family readiness programs and activities.
Some examples of the duties include assisting with the preparation of pre-deployment and redeployment activities; scheduling and coordinating Family readiness or unit-sponsored training; assisting in developing and distributing unit newsletters; coordinating video teleconferences for Families and deployed Soldiers; and serving as a link between the garrison community agencies and the unit. Training for FRSAs will be provided by Army Community Service professionals and Reserve Component Family Program staff.
Why is this important to the Army? The growing number of Soldiers serving multiple deployments drove FRG volunteers into overtime that became impossible to sustain.
By adding a full-time, paid employee to the brigade commander's staff, FRG leaders and family members were given an easily accessible contact, and the commander was given someone he could hold accountable to ensure the Families received the support needed.
While the bulk of the work an FRSA does is administrative, they also serve to improve connections with other Army support services and programs available for Soldiers and Family members. Just as importantly, the position remains in place even when the unit is not deployed, providing continuity in a world climate that requires units to participate in multiple deployments.
Families First - Safety Always
November has been dedicated "Military Family Month" in honor of the thousands of Families that contribute to and support the Army and nation.
Families are commonly referred to as the foundation of the Army's all-volunteer force, ensuring its readiness. However, just as accidents affect combat readiness, they can also dramatically affect Families.
Composite risk management is the Army's primary decision-making process for identifying and controlling risks across a full spectrum of activities, both on and off duty.
The USACRC remains committed to providing information and resources to keep Soldiers in the fight and remain Army Strong! We would like to encourage military family members to check out the safety tools available from the USACRC Web site.