MCPHERSON, Ga. (U.S. Army Forces Command Public Affairs) ó With
25 years of experience, the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) program has
good reason to boast ó itís making real changes happen.
a quarter century of supporting Army Families, U.S. Army Forces
Command (FORSCOM) held its annual AFAP conference in Atlanta in late
March. The result was an announcement of the top five voted-on issues
in transition primary care managers, Permanent Change of Station or
temporary duty for training courses, barracks security, surviving
spouses TRICARE benefits and urgent care services were the top five
topics chosen to be pushed forward for resolution.
AFAP, created to help Army leaders address the needs and concerns of
the total Army Family, has led to changes in Army programs and
services, policy and legislature.
the programs that have been amended through the AFAP in the past are
an increase in the Servicemembersí Group Life Insurance from $50,000
to $200,000, military participation in the Federal Thrift Savings
Plan, Department of Defense Reserve Component Family member ID cards,
elimination of TRICARE Prime co-payments, TRICARE For Life for seniors
over 65, allowing Soldiers to request tour stabilization if they have
a graduating high school senior and wounded Soldier updates.
"I get very excited when I get to work with the Army Family
Action Plan, because I know we get a chance to make a
Gen. Eric Porter,
FORSCOM Deputy Chief of Staff
Personnel, Installation Management
not just the servicemember that serves, it is every single person
attached to the Army Family," said Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Peterson,
FORSCOM deputy commander, at the conferenceís opening ceremony.
"We truly understand the critical contributions that Army
Families make to our country."
70 representatives from 23 FORSCOM installations attended the
conference and collaborated to identify common issues. As the AFAP Web
site explains, the program is a process that lets Soldiers and their
families say whatís working, what isnít and what they think will
90 percent of AFAP issues are resolved at a local level; those that
arenít are sent on to be discussed in mid-level conferences, such as
the FORSCOM AFAP conference. Issues that cannot be decided by
mid-level commands are sent on to the annual Department of the Army
conference, According to the Web site, over the past 25 years, 633
issues have been identified through AFAP, 107 legislative changes have
been passed, and 154 Army policy and regulatory changes have taken
get very excited when I get to work with the Army Family Action Plan,
because I know we get a chance to make a difference," said Brig.
Gen. Eric Porter at the conference. Porter is the FORSCOM deputy chief
of staff for personnel and installation management.
representative from FORSCOMís human resources department explained
that all ó not just the top five ó issues discussed at this yearsí
conference will be presented to the FORSCOM commanding general, Gen.
Charles C. Campbell.
representative also explained that having delegates from throughout
the U.S. helps commanders and families realize that some problems are