|By Lt. gen. Rick Lynch, Commanding General,
Installation Management Command
As the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation
Management (ACSIM), one of the most important duties I have is
overseeing the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) Process. The AFAP is the
Army’s grass-roots effort in which members of the Army Community
(Soldiers, Civilians, Families, and Retirees) identify and elevate
significant quality-of-life issues affecting the Army Community to
senior leaders for action. The AFAP also is a key component of the Army
Family Covenant because it gives commanders and other Army leaders
insight into needs and expectations of the Army Community. Simply
stated, AFAP is a voice for the Army Community to inform and partner
with Army leaders to determine if we’re doing the right things, whether
we’re doing things right, and to find out what we’re missing.
I want you and every member of the Army Community to know about the
AFAP, understand how it works, and to become a partner in the process.
The AFAP allows you to communicate with and receive feedback from the
most-senior military and civilian leaders of the Army and Department of
Defense about issues important to the health and well-being of Soldiers,
Civilians, and Family Members.
Here’s how it works. The AFAP is a year-round process that begins on
installations where representatives of the community meet in forums to
identify, develop, and prioritize issues they believe are important to
maintain a good standard of living for the Army Community. Approximately
90 percent of the AFAP issues that emerge are resolved at the local
level and result in ongoing community improvements. However, some issues
require support beyond the local level. Those issues are elevated to
mid-level (Army Command) AFAP Conferences. Issues that require the
attention of higher-level authorities go to the Headquarters Department
of the Army (HQDA) AFAP Conference where delegates from across the Army
determine which issues will be worked by the Army Staff.
The AFAP General Officer Steering Committee (GOSC), comprised of senior
Department of Defense officials, Army leaders, and field representatives
(commanders and command sergeants major), meets every six months to
provide senior leader direction on action plans, milestones, and
resolution of AFAP issues.
McCoy AFAP issues,
delegates due Aug. 13
Issue and volunteer nominations for
the Fort McCoy Fiscal Year 11 Army Family Action Plan (AFAP)
Conference will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 13.
The AFAP Conference will be held Oct. 20-21 at building 905 at
The AFAP is a grass-roots program that begins at installation
level and seeks input regarding quality-of-life concerns that
affect the well-being of Soldiers, civilians, Family members and
Anyone in the Fort McCoy community wishing to submit an issue or
volunteer to be part of the conference may do so by going to the
Army Community Service (ACS) Academy at the website
http://www.mccoymwr.com/ACS/AFAP.htm or by calling the ACS
AFAP program manager at 608-388-3540.
In the six months since the last AFAP GOSC meeting, functional
representatives from the Department of the Army (DA) staff and I have
met for six AFAP Sessions, reviewing the 86 active AFAP issues. During
those sessions we studied the history and latest developments for each
issue, then decided on a recommended status (remain active, complete, or
unattainable) to present to the AFAP GOSC for consideration. After I
present our recommendations to the GOSC June 30, we will determine the
next steps and status for each issue. The results from this GOSC as well
as previous GOSC meetings are available on the new-and-improved AFAP
The AFAP website is located conveniently on Army OneSource at
to provide the Army Community with easy one-stop shopping for Army
information, including meeting results from the January GOSC and
previous meetings. The AFAP website has been improved by the addition of
the Active Issue Search Application. This new feature allows users to
search the status of all issues using several filter options, such as
keywords, issue status, service component, subject, demographic group,
command, and more. The Army is dedicated to building awareness of AFAP
across the Army and ensuring everyone has full access to AFAP
recommendations and accomplishments and knows how to become a partner in
As the ACSIM, I commit to ensuring all AFAP recommendations are
thoroughly analyzed to determine if they are realistically achievable
based on factors such as, congressional support, cost, and other
factors. I also am committed to ensuring that the GOSC provide the Army
Community with the results of our analysis and decisions as quickly as
possible. This is important work. Previous recommendations submitted
through the AFAP process have had very positive and wide-reaching
effects for the Army Community. For example:
• 2009 - Distribution of Montgomery GI Bill benefits approved for
• 2008 - Military annual leave carryover increased from 60 to 75
• 2007 - Established toll-free Wounded in Action phone number;
improved communication to Families.
As you can see, the AFAP has an excellent record of success.
One-hundred-seventeen AFAP recommendations have resulted in legislative
changes; 162 resulted in DA policy changes; and 178 resulted in improved
programs or services. However, our work is not complete. The following
is just a sample of the AFAP recommendations we will be working on at
the next GOSC:
• AFAP Issue Recommendation No. 610. Establish a comprehensive
integrated rehabilitative program for Traumatic Brain Injury patients at
military Medical Centers of Excellence.
• AFAP Issue Recommendation No. 653. Fund a formal program to
provide service dogs for Wounded Warriors.
• AFAP Issue Recommendation No. 658. Install visual monitoring
systems for surveillance of hallways, common areas and parking lots, and
require keyless entry and peep holes in barracks across the Army.
• AFAP Issue Recommendation No. 647. Require the availability of
24/7 child care for all age groups through Child, Youth & School
Services delivery systems at all Army garrisons.
Now that you know more about this grass-roots process that was created
to enable the Army Community to collaborate with leaders, from the
installation level to Congress, get involved!
I encourage you to go to the AFAP website and view the status of the 86
I also challenge you to become a partner with us in our continuing
effort to improve our Army by contacting your garrison AFAP Program
Manager within Army Community Service and becoming a volunteer,
participating in an AFAP forum, or submitting an AFAP issue.
Your contributions to the AFAP provide real-time information that enable
commanders to respond more rapidly to resolve problems, implement good
ideas, guide policy formation, and enhance Soldier, Civilian, and Family
well-being and installation readiness.
( See Related Story )