"A partnership exists between the Army and Army Families...The basis of this statement is the understanding that the Army is an institution, not an occupation. Members take an oath of service to the nation and the Army, rather than simply accept a job. As an institution, the Army has moral and ethical obligations to those who serve and their families; they correspondingly have responsibilities to the Army."
- Gen. John A. Wickham, Former Army Chief of Staff
Gen. John A. Wickham's On Leadership and the Profession of Arms
( Page 11)
"The readiness of our all-volunteer force depends on the health of the families. I can assure you that your Army leadership understands the important contribution each and every one of you makes."
-Secretary of the Army Pete Geren
Army Leaders Sign Covenant with Families
Army Family Action Plan 25th Anniversary
What is it?
Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) was created in 1983, and developed fully in 1984, the Year of the Army Family, to help the Army address the needs and concerns of family members. The program highlights the importance of Army families and uses family representatives from around the world to improve the standard of living for Soldiers and families. AFAP provides a way for policy changes to become tangible end-products for members of the Army family. It addresses quality-of-life issues for Soldiers, family members, retirees and Department of Army civilian employees.
Why is this important to the Army?
On Aug. 15, 1983, then Chief of Staff, Gen. John A. Wickham signed a groundbreaking "white paper" titled The Army Family which identified the need to increase support to its families. Gen. Wickham, by acknowledging the radical transformation of the Army from an organization composed mostly of draftees and short-term enlistees, to an all-volunteer, professional force with more than 50 percent married personnel, set a new vision and course for Army families that continues today.
What has the Army done?
The Army remains committed to AFAP, as a means to let Army leadership know what works, what doesn't - and how to solve problems. AFAP was the impetus behind the following initiatives:
- From 1983 - 2006, 132 child care facilities were built or renovated.
- Family Readiness Groups are currently funded, staffed and a unit requirement.
- The Family Advocacy Program provided training and support to more than 164,000 Soldiers or families in fiscal year 2006.
- Financial Readiness Program managers conducted 110,041 financial readiness courses
- More than 50,000 spouses have found employment through the Army Spouse Employment Program.
- Army garrisons now provide more than 50 different support programs/activities
The Army continues its focus on families with the launch of the Army Family Covenant, a commitment that goes hand-in-hand with AFAP. The covenant recognizes that while Soldiers may be the strength of the nation, their strength is in their families.
What's planned for the future?
AFAP activities will occur at installations and garrisons across the Army in the coming months with a national level meeting in January of 2009 with representatives from around the world. Through AFAP and the Army Family Covenant, quality of life and support of Soldiers and family members will remain a primary focus for the Army. Current actions include:
- Twenty-two new child development centers in FY07, with 92 new projects programmed for FY08-13.
- One new youth center in FY07; 24 new projects for FY08-12.
Army Family Support Network
Army Families Online
Family & MWR Command
Gen. John A. Wickham's Biography
Army Family Action Plan Web site
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor
- Speaker's Toolkit
- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"
Aug. 8 - 24, 2008: XXIX Olympic Games: Beijing 2008: U.S Army Olympian Web site
Aug. 16, 2008: 25th Anniversary of Army Family Action Plan