"By providing VA support to Soldiers, this agreement formalizes a resource that will help them get the health care and benefits they earned with their service. We must look at our policies through the eyes of our Soldiers and their Families, as we have done in developing this agreement."
-Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, regarding a mutual support agreement outlining continued assistance to servicemembers and their Families transitioning through the military Disability Evaluation System.
Army, VA Sign Mutual Support Agreement
What is it?
Military OneSource is a Department of Defense (DOD)-funded service that supplements existing Family programs. It provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to information through telephone and the Internet. Web-based service includes up to six face-to-face counseling sessions available to active component, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers; deployed DOD civilians; and Family members worldwide. Military OneSource provides information ranging from everyday concerns to deployment and reunion issues. Additionally, if there is a need for face-to-face counseling, Military OneSource will provide referrals to professional civilian counselors in the Continental United States (CONUS), Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In Outside-CONUS (OCONUS), face-to-face counseling is provided via existing medical treatment facility services. Military OneSource also provides short-term, solution-focused telephonic consultation to Military OneSource users worldwide for individuals unable to attend non-medical face-to-face counseling sessions available through the service. The Military OneSource consultants explain the counseling options when Soldiers and Family members call the service.
What has the Army done?
Army use continues to show strong gains in FY07. Since the service was first provided to the Army in August 2003, there have been 253,217 calls to the daily 24-hour call center, 513,551 visits to the Web site, and 50,505 referrals for non-medical counseling (as of Oct. 26, 2007). Current use in FY07 has already reached 286,477 instances. Additionally, there have been 20,206 Army referrals for non-medical counseling, an increase of 36 percent over FY06. About 58 percent of the users are Soldiers, and 8 percent are repeat users. Military OneSource continues to provide cost-effective support for local marketing efforts by providing train-the-trainer or program assistance support to 776 Army events reaching over 157,000 individuals.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Military OneSource program managers are working with installation, state, and regional helping agencies as well as unit leaders to support marketing efforts to Soldiers and Families. Efforts include providing information regarding the About Military OneSource and Service Provider Tools links on the Military OneSource homepage at http://www.militaryonesource.com, as well as information to the field on new features and offerings. Military OneSource will continue to support local deployment and reunion events subject to approval by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the availability of travel funds.
Why is this important to the Army?
In FY07, Military OneSource identified 396 new cases of domestic violence, child abuse, and threats of harm to oneself or others among Soldiers and Army Family members. By providing a private service where Soldiers and Family members in need can call or go online and get help, the Army is using effective risk communication strategies to mitigate the negative effects of the deployment cycle and improving well-being and readiness.
For more information:
My Army Life Too
- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor
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