STAND TO!

Edition: Fri, February 13, 2009
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TODAY'S FOCUS

ARNG Strong Bonds Program

What is it?

The Strong Bonds Program began in 1999. Originally known as Building Strong and Ready Families (BSRF), the Strong BondsProgram is a unit-based, Chaplain-led process that helps Soldiers and their families build strong relationships. Training events include Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, Premarital Interpersonal Choice and Knowledge (PICK), Eight Healthy Habits of a Successful Family, and Family Wellness.

What has the Army done?

The Army National Guard executed $7.1 million in fiscal year 2008 (FY08) in support of this program. Strong Bonds events are geared for all Soldiers. This includes marital programs for married Soldiers and premarital programs for single Soldiers. FY08 funding provided for nearly 300 events throughout the 54 states and territories for nearly 15,000 Soldiers and their spouses. Funding provides for training materials, fees, transportation, food, lodging and childcare for members of the armed forces and their family members. In FY08 the ARNG conducted three Strong Bonds training events for Title 10 Soldiers. The ARNG received budgeting validation in the FY10 Program Objective Memorandum (POM) for $7.4 million for the program.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Funding provides events sponsored by the Office of the Chief of Chaplain (OCC). The OCC Directive of Ministry Initiative provides training and training materials for the full menu of Strong Bonds curricula. For FY09 the ARNG is planning and conducting another cycle of Strong Bonds events.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army National Guard supports the era of persistent conflict as well as domestic missions by mobilizing and deploying forces in the highest state of readiness possible. The Army National Guard coordinates the reset and resiliency of units and individuals returning from deployments. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Guard has deployed more than 345,000 Soldiers on federal orders. In FY08, over 9,000 Army Guard Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and over 43,000 Soldiers deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. With such an intense OPTEMPO and with many Soldiers going into harm's way, it is increasingly critical that the Army National Guard deploy ready Soldiers with the strong bonds they and their family members need to survive and thrive before, during, and after long deployments.

Resources:

For additional information:

Strong Bonds

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 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"

- Early Bird News Site

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