By Tina Ray/ParaglideMarch 25, 2011
The Army Family Action Plan provides a voice for servicemembers and their Families in the Army chain of command.
The program came to fruition in 1983 as the brainchild of Army spouses. It helps ensure that Soldier, spouses and Families' concerns and issues are addressed and forwarded to Army leadership.
Unlike other installations, Fort Bragg is unique in that the leadership addresses local issues through quarterly town hall meetings.
The annual AFAP Conference focuses only on Army-wide issues. This proven process allows officials to solve issues that impact more than just the Fort Bragg community, said Kari Gonzalez, program manager.
There were 80 AFAP delegates who represented the gamut of Fort Bragg, from enlisted servicemembers to officers, spouses, retirees and Department of Defense civilians. Fort Bragg accommodated wounded warriors, surviving spouses and single Soldiers in separate work groups in 2010 because of the specifics of their special interests, Gonzalez said.
To select delegates, a memorandum of instruction was sent out in July to G1 to determine which units are not deployed, she said.
This past year, representation of the 82nd Airborne Division was higher than previous years because many units returned from deployments.
Some AFAP issues that are raised, but not resolved at the installation level are submitted to Forces Command. For example, in January, Fort Bragg sent nine issues forward, one of which was special-duty pay for humanitarian efforts.
Issues not resolved at FORSCOM may be sent to the Department of Army.
On Fort Bragg, some of the changes implemented as a result of the AFAP program have been establishment of the Airborne Attic, which provides household goods to Soldiers in the rank of specialist/corporal or below; accommodations in guest housing for Families with pets; and left-hand turn lanes at Knox Street and Honeycutt Road for a smoother traffic flow.
This year's motto for AFAP is, "AFAP: A Step in the Right Direction," Gonzalez said.
Issues are brought to light through the AFAP process, but the ultimate goal is to find solutions.
Fort Bragg's AFAP conference will be held Oct. 18 to 20, Gonzalez said. To submit AFAP issues, visit the AFAP webpage at www.fortbraggmwr.com/afap.php or call 396-4447. The AFAP office is located on the third floor of the Soldier Support Center, Building 4-2843, Normandy Drive and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Gonzalez encourages participation to help improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their Family members.