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 Military Family Forum Archive

Family Readiness Annual Meeting 

3/5/2014 12:25 PM 

2014 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year

The AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional Army family whose dedicated volunteer service significantly contributes to improving Army well-being and the well-being of the local community.


  • Active Duty
  • National Guard
  • Reserves
  • Retiree
  • Army civilian
  • Surviving Family (NEW)

 *Previous recipients or runner-up families, current AUSA chapter officers and their families are not eligible

Submission Process

Nominations for the 2014 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award may be submitted only through AUSA chapters. For ease in locating your local AUSA Chapter please follow this link.

Completed nomination packets should be sent to your local AUSA Chapter no later than 15 May, 2014. ONLY NOMINATIONS SUBMITTED THROUGH AN OFFICIAL AUSA CHAPTER WILL BE CONSIDERED. 

Who may submit a nomination packet to the chapters?

All nominations must be submitted and verified through an AUSA chapter, however nominations may be created and sent to the local AUSA Chapter by:

  • Unit chaplains
  • Bn and BDE FRSA’s
  • ACS Volunteer Coordinators
  • Joint Family Support Assistance Program State Offices / Army Reserve Family Centers
  • Garrison Commands
  • Any other sources who as  clear knowledge of the volunteer efforts of the family

Questions on eligibility may be submitted to Holly Hodges at 703-907-2674 or emailing hhodges@ausa.org. Remember, only nominations submitted through an official AUSA Chapter will be considered.


Nomination Packet:

Click here to download the nomination packet

Each nomination packet should include:

  • Completed nomination form which includes a 600 narrative highlighting what makes this families’ contribution to their community worthy of the award.

Please note: nominations that do not follow the appropriate format will be returned for revisions as needed. It is unfair to the families if we cannot compare apples to apples and we have received nominations in the past that have made it very difficult for our judges to fairly compare to the others.

Please do not include pictures or award certificates in your submission packet. 

Selection Standards

The selection of the award recipient will be based upon the following selection standards:


  • Family must be active volunteers and (one or more member) must have volunteered the past two years (April 2012-April 2014) for community, installation or unit programs (not necessarily at the same location) beyond what would be expected due to one’s position in a unit or place of employment.


  • Family must have demonstrated outstanding leadership in planning, organizing or directing a major event or program that has resulted in a tangible or intangible benefit to the community or Army families.


  • Family must have a demonstrable pattern of volunteering, leadership, and achievement which has been recognized by other awards.


  • Involvement in a variety of volunteer programs is desirable.


  • AUSA Family Programs believes that the entire family supports the efforts of dedicated volunteers although it is not necessary for each family member to provide specific volunteer service for the family to be nominated.



The American Freedom Foundation and Kaplan University will award a yet to be determined number of full tuition and partial tuition scholarships (reducing tuition by over 50% per credit hour) to selected spouses of nominated families competing for the AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award. All spouses of nominated families will be eligible to compete for these scholarships. Winners will be announced at the AUSA Annual Meeting’s Military Family Forums.  Recipients may use their scholarship award for an undergraduate degree, masters degree, or certificate program to attend Kaplan University online.  Recipients must be recognized by AUSA as an officially nominated family for the AUSA Volunteer of the Year award, meet University admissions standards for their program of choice, and will need to begin their program of study no later than 6 months after award.



Judging for AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award

Nominations will be reviewed by a panel comprised of representatives from all components of the Army. The panel will select the three outstanding finalists who best represent the selection standards (see below). The AUSA National Awards Committee will make the final selection.  The recipients will be notified by the Director of Family Readiness. The narrative is the only document seen by the judges and will be in “blind” format with all names and identifying information removed.




1.      How will I know if you received my nomination?

All nomination packets must be submitted to the National HQ by May 15th, 2014. Local chapters will be responsible for confirming receipt of your nomination.



2.      In the past we have been able to mail nomination packets. Why only email submissions through AUSA Chapters now?

We are trying very hard to streamline the process and receiving hard copy packets without electronic back up has been a problem for us in the past. Receiving packets in the same manner allows us to be consistent and fair in our judging process. Going through the AUSA Chapters makes the process as fair as possible.



3.      Who at HQ may I contact if I need help or information?

All of us in the Family Readiness Directorate are here to help but your primary POC for the AUSA 2014 Family of the Year Award will be Holly Hodges. She can be reached at hhodges@ausa.org. Since Holly works on a part-time schedule please cc Patty Barron, the Director of AUSA Family readiness at pbarron@ausa.org



4.      How does the NEW Kaplan full or partial scholarship for selected spouses of nominated families work?

All nominated families will receive a congratulatory email from the Family Readiness Directorate informing them that they have been nominated for the AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award. In that email we will inform them of this new opportunity to apply for a competitive Kaplan full or partial scholarship that must be used within 6 months of the award. Interested nominated spouses will have the opportunity to compete for these scholarships. All awardees will be announced during the first Military Family Forum at the Annual Meeting.



AUSA Family Readiness would like to thank the 2014 AUSA Volunteer Family of the Year Award Sponsor:

Express Scripts is the pharmacy benefit manager for the TRICARE Pharmacy Program and provides eligible DoD beneficiaries with the cost-savings and convenience of receiving medications by mail or from a highly accessible, nationwide network of retail pharmacies and are committed to making the use of prescription drugs safer and more affordable for the 9.7 million TRICARE beneficiaries they serve.






View the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting and Family Forums

Thank you for participating at our 2013 Annual Meeting! If you were unable to view our Family Forums live, or would like to watch them again, they are now available to view via playback. Click the link corresponding with the forum you want to view below.

  • Military Family Forum I- Voices from the Top: Senior Leaders Town Hall: This forum features presentations and a town hall style discussion with the Army's senior officials. VIEW FORUM NOW
  • Military Family Forum II- The Performance Triad: A Holistic Approach to Self-Care: This forum explores holistic approaches to caring for one’s self and family. New and innovative programs from the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense are discussed. VIEW FORUM NOW
  • Military Family Forum III- Community Resources: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: This forum showcases the growing support of military families by civilian organizations through private /public partnerships with the military community. VIEW FORUM NOW
  • Military Family Forum IV- Expanding Our Reach: Our Neighborhood Knows No Bounds: This forum explores innovative uses of social media and advanced technology in the military family communications arena. Featured speakers share techniques and successful approaches to building a virtual support community. VIEW FORUM NOW

Click here to view Family Forum speaker and panelist bios.

Forum Presentations and Slides

Patty Barron- Director, AUSA Family Readiness

LTG Ferriter

LTG Horoho

Dr. Jim Gordon, Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Operation Homefront

Sandy Risberg, Kansas State University- Click here for video. Click here for Program information 

Army Wife Network

Army Social Media Guide

*Continue to check back; we will add more presentations as they become available to us.


Unanswered Questions

Questions submitted that were not answered live will be answered on our Facebook page by a subject matter expert in the weeks following the Annual Meeting.