By ARNG for STAND-TO!May 18, 2010
Survivor Outreach Services for the Army National Guard
What is it'
Through a cooperative effort with Parent Services, Veteran Service Organizations, Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center (CMAOC), Casualty Assistance Centers (CACs) and communities across the nation, the Army National Guard provides ongoing support to Soldiers and families through Military Funeral Honors (MFH), Casualty Assistance, and Survivor Outreach Services.
Military Funeral Honors teams render professional military funeral honors, in accordance with service tradition, to all eligible veterans when requested by an authorized family member. The casualty assistance program assists the CMAOC and CACs with the mission of assigning casualty notification and casualty assistance officers to assist families during their time of need.
What has the ARNG done'
The ARNG MFH program is established in 52 of 54 states and territories. The ARNG has also established a training program at the Professional Education Center (PEC) in Arkansas to certify Soldiers as MFH trainers. These trainers conduct in-state certification before Soldiers are authorized to perform funeral honors. Casualty assistance provides full support to casualty operations, providing notification officers within 4 hours of initial casualty reports and assistance officers for as long as the family needs. In addition, the National Guard provides training to certify casualty notification and assistance officers to provide support of the highest standard to surviving family members who sacrificed so much.
What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future'
To ensure Survivors receive ongoing support, the ARNG will hire an additional 51 SOS coordinators in FY10 to be placed throughout the states and territories in geographically dispersed areas where there is a high survivor population. These coordinators provide long-term support throughout the grief process, facilitate support groups, provide information and referral services, coordinate child care as needed, and provide other services as required.
Why is this important to the Army'
In fiscal year 2009, the ARNG supported over 111,500 MFHs. In fiscal year 2010, the ARNG will support an estimated 120,000 MFHs. The ARNG conducts 80 percent of all MFHs for the Army and approximately 55 percent of all MFHs for DOD. Additionally, the ARNG training program at the PEC has certified over 500 Soldiers since FY06. Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) teams reassure survivors that they are continually linked to the Army family for as long as they desire.
Army National Guard