McIlvaine, FMWRC Public Affairs
Va. — Delegates from around the world winnowed down hundreds of
suggestions at the 2009 Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) conference to
recommend senior leaders address 16 new issues. Of those 16, five were
chosen as the most important, and the General Office Steering
Committee (GOSC) will begin addressing them during their next meeting.
top five issues are:
Permissive Temporary Duty (TDY)
military leave category for bereavement does not exist. Multiple
permissive TDY categories exist but none authorizes nonchargeable
bereavement leave. Soldiers take chargeable leave or a pass in the
event of the death of an immediate family member. Responsibilities
associated with the death of a family member may require more time
than accrued leave or a pass. Insufficient time for grieving the loss
of a family member and administering responsibilities impacts the
Soldier/family’s ability to mourn and recover from a traumatic loss.
recommendation sent forward to Army leadership was to establish a
permissive TDY category for bereavement.
Photographs for Soldiers
photographs are not required for all Soldiers. The Army only requires
an official DA photograph at certain grade levels. In the event of a
Soldier’s death, there is no official photo available to the media
that provides a professional head and shoulder view of the Soldier
with individual achievements. Personal photos have been used in the
media to identify Soldiers, and inappropriate or grainy photos do not
accurately reflect the professionalism of the Army or the Soldier.
Having an official photo on file for all Soldiers would ensure
Soldiers are portrayed in a dignified and respectful manner.
recommendation sent to Army leadership is to mandate a
professional-quality official or semiofficial head and shoulder
photograph for all Soldiers.
Accessible Storage in Barracks
significant number of Soldiers residing in barracks lack sufficient
secure, accessible storage for their Organizational Clothing and
Individual Equipment (OCIE) and personal items. The quantity and size
of required issue items has increased dramatically due to personal
safety items issued for deployments. Though newly constructed billets
include accessible storage areas, the vast majority of existing
barracks still lack this essential capability. Lack of sufficient
secure accessible storage outside the Soldiers’ authorized living
space negatively affects their quality of life by forcing them to live
in overcrowded conditions.
AFAP delegates recommended to Army leadership that the garrisons
provide secure, accessible storage space for Soldiers’ OCIE in a
location separate from living space.
medical providers in MTFs
for healthcare exceeds provider availability in military treatment
facilities (MTFs). The Army’s projected growth will increase this
demand. Statutes limit salaries, incentives, and contracts, limiting
the effective recruiting and retention of medical providers. The lack
of providers affects timeliness of medical services, and impacts
Soldier medical readiness and the health of family members and
recommendations to Army leadership were to expedite staffing of
military, civilian, and contracted medical providers to support
prioritized needs as identified by the MTF Commander, and to implement
new strategies for recruiting and retaining medical providers for
of respite care
respite care is not available to all Wounded Warrior caregivers.
lack of availability exists due to inconsistencies in areas such as:
information, reimbursement, policy, personnel, and location.
Caregivers of Wounded Warriors commonly suffer burnout and compassion
Soldier’s ability to sustain activities of daily living is directly
associated with the well-being of the caregiver. The lack of
availability of standardized respite care for these caregivers
jeopardizes the caregiver’s stability and negatively affects the
recovery of his/her Soldier.
delegates forwarded a recommendation to Army leadership to provide
uniform availability of standardized respite care to all caregivers of
Army staff will identify the actions/plans necessary to determine how
these issues are resolved, and ensure those actions take place if it
can. AFAP issues require an average of three years to resolve.
require policy changes at the Department of the Army or Department of
Defense level, and some issues require legislative changes in order to
come to a resolution.
GOSC meets two times a year to review the progress and status of
current AFAP issues.
Installation personnel attend Armywide AFAP Conference)
attendees work together to improve quality of life)