IMCOM AFAP update: Progress on top
priorities, new process requirements
|By Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Installation Management
Command, Commanding General
SAN ANTONIO — September’s Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) review session
showed progress on the top-priority 2011 AFAP Conference issues,
including survivor identification cards and child-care fees.
The session also identified adjustments to AFAP that will better align
the process with the Army’s cost culture.
Every month I meet with subject-matter experts from across the Army to
review the status of issues submitted through the AFAP process to
determine if they are achievable. This review session focused on the 16
new issues identified by AFAP delegates during the February 2011 AFAP
Conference in Arlington, Va.
The top issue identified to senior Army leaders during this year’s
conference was issue No. 667, which recommended that ID cards of
surviving children with an active-duty sponsor annotate both active-duty
and Survivor status.
Surviving Family members have been required to present both an active
duty ID card and Survivor status documentation to receive Survivor
The requirement for additional documentation often resulted in emotional
stress for Survivors, as it caused them to relive their loss.
To address this concern, the Department of Defense Human Resources
Activity has authorized the use of a “dual status” over-stamp on ID
cards of surviving Family members. Business processes now are being put
in place to ensure correct implementation throughout the Army.
Another AFAP success story is the work toward resolving issue No. 671,
which seeks to cap military child development program fees at 25 percent
of a Family’s total income. The Army Child and Youth Fee Policy will
require that Families who pay more than 25 percent of their monthly
income for childcare be immediately informed of the financial hardship
waiver process and provided information on how to apply at registration.
The projected date for this policy change is Nov. 1.
To track this or any other issue, visit the Army OneSource website at
search by issue number or key word.
While we are making progress on some issues, such as 671 and 667, others
are unachievable due to current fiscal constraints. As our funding
shrinks, we have to be even better stewards of our resources and ask
ourselves three fundamental questions: Do we really need it? Is it worth
the cost? What are we willing to do without?
These questions must become part of our culture as we move forward in
this period of reduced resources.
Therefore, the Army now requires that new issues introduced into the
process be accompanied by the estimated cost and a recommendation to
offset the cost.
We strongly encourage those who have suggestions for improving the
quality of life for the Army community to continue to submit new issues,
but with an eye toward how their suggestions can be paid for.
Our bottom line is clear: the Army’s commitment to Soldiers and Families
endures. How we get to that bottom line changes with our resources.
AFAP continues to play a vital role in identifying what is important to
the Army community, which is critical to how we decide to make the most
of our resources.