By Monica Wood, Fort Sill FMWRAugust 7, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Program exists because one person had a great idea.
Great ideas can come from anyone, and the Army wants to hear them through its Army Family Action Plan program.
"Tell us what you want" is the theme for this year's AFAP conference, and issue boxes are already out and conveniently located on and off post including the Armed Services YMCA, Army Community Services, Child, Youth and School Services, the Truman Education Center, the Soldier and Family Assistance Center/Warriors in Transition Center, all three post fitness centers, the RecPlex, Twin Oaks Bowling Center, Fort Sill Golf Course, Nye Library and the Welcome Desk at Reynolds Army Community Hospital.
The clearly marked gray-and-black boxes will be picked up at the end of September to prepare for this year's conference Oct. 22-24 at the Patriot Club.
"If you want to submit your issue in writing stop by one of these locations and fill out the submission form," said Merilee Nevins, AFAP program manager. "If you prefer to submit your issue on the Internet, log in to www.myarmyonesource.com, click on Family Programs and Services and then AFAP issue management system."
Another option is to fax the AFAP issue to Nevins at 580-442-7617.
When submitting at one of the boxes, there is a sample form to ensure enough information is provided so delegates can address the issue effectively, said Nevins.
Make sure to describe the problem that affects your quality of life at Fort Sill or in the Army. Give a scope of the problem by describing the issue, why it's a problem and who it affects. Then give a recommendation or say what should be done to fix it.
The final step to submitting an issue is to include the submitter's name, phone number and email address so you can be contacted if your issue needs clarification. Contact information is kept confidential.
Issues submitted should have a bearing on the quality of life that have a Fort Sill and/or DoDwide impact, said Nevins.
Issues and concerns about customer services should be submitted through another channel, the Interactive Customer Evaluation, known as ICE.
"All issues submitted will be addressed whether through the AFAP or the appropriate organization," Nevins said. "The AFAP intent is still to provide a venue to hear the voice of the customer."
Issues can be submitted through Sept. 30, so every person can "tell us what you want."
This July, AFAP celebrates 30 years of grassroots advocacy. At its core is the opportunity for Soldiers, family members, survivors, retirees and civilians across all Army components to identify, prioritize and elevate quality of life issues to senior leaders for action and resolution.
Information provided through the AFAP process gives commanders and leaders insight into current quality of life needs for Army constituents. Leadership uses the information to effect changes that improve standards of living and support programs.
According to the AFAP organizers, more than 90 percent of AFAP issues are identified and resolved at the local level, and more than 61 percent of the issues worked at Department of the Army level impact all service branches.
"The Army is saying we're listening to you. The AFAP is a tool for the Soldiers and families and other members of the total Army family to give the Army input and feedback, to ask for change and to inform the leadership of concerns and issues," said Nevins.
Since AFAP was created in 1983, there have been 128 legislative changes, 179 DoD or Army policy changes and more than 200 improved programs or services/funding. Examples of AFAP successes are creation of the BOSS Program, establishing School Liaison Officers, development of the Army Family Team Building Program, and increase in military annual leave carry-over and so many.
AFAP conference delegate registration occurs through your unit or organization. For more information, call Nevins at 580-442-2039, 442-2382.