AUSA’s Barron Appointed to Pentagon Job

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AUSA’s Barron Appointed to Pentagon Job

Patricia Barron, the Association of the U.S. Army’s family readiness program director, has left the association for a Pentagon job. 

She moved to DoD to become the deputy assistant defense secretary for military community and family policy, a job she’s spent a lifetime preparing to fill. 

DoD Seeks to Improve Services, Support for Families

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DoD Seeks to Improve Services, Support for Families

The latest DoD survey of military spouses showed improvements in areas such as personal health and financial stability, but family members also continued to grapple with increased stress from deployments, spouse employment and other issues.

The Survey of Active-Duty Spouses is conducted every two years, and the results help military leaders identify problems and refine or adjust policies and programs for families. 

Big Quality of Life Initiatives Ahead

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Big Quality of Life Initiatives Ahead

Ambitious initiatives to improve quality of life are being planned for soldiers and Army families, including almost $12 billion for housing and barracks improvements.

This is an effort to put momentum behind the Army’s people priorities, which also extend to Army civilians.

Demand Increases for Virtual Resources in Pandemic

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Demand Increases for Virtual Resources in Pandemic

The Pentagon continues to look for ways to provide service members and their families with access to counseling and other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

“Our military family resources are especially critical during the pandemic,” Kim Joiner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military, community and family policy, said recently during a virtual media roundtable. “To better serve our service members and their families during this challenging time, [we] significantly enhanced our support efforts in every aspect of our portfolio.”

Gold Star Family Display Unveiled at Pentagon

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Gold Star Family Display Unveiled at Pentagon

A new permanent display honoring Gold Star families who carry on the legacy of their fallen service members has been unveiled at the Pentagon.

“The gold star is a ... symbol of your loved one, a symbol of the one that you lost,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Oct. 29 during the livestreamed dedication ceremony. 

For every casualty of war, Milley said, “there’s a story that illuminates the true character of a Gold Star family member.” Now this new display, located in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes, will tell their stories.

Leaders Focus on Quality of Life for Soldiers, Families

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Leaders Focus on Quality of Life for Soldiers, Families

The Army is making progress—and seeing results—after rolling out several initiatives within the past year to improve quality of life for soldiers and their families.

“We listened to your feedback, understood the issues and laid out our way ahead,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Oct. 15 in a town hall meeting during AUSA Now, the Association of the U.S. Army’s virtual 2020 annual meeting. 

‘Upside Down’ PCS Season Hasn’t Stopped Soldiers from Moving

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‘Upside Down’ PCS Season Hasn’t Stopped Soldiers from Moving

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic turning this year’s permanent change-of-station season “upside down,” the Army has managed to keep soldiers moving while keeping them safe, officials said.

“The Army met the challenge and safely completed over 72,000 PCS moves in 2020, and we’re not done yet,” Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram, commanding general of Army Installation Management Command, said Oct. 15 during AUSA Now, the Association of the U.S. Army’s virtual 2020 annual meeting.

‘The Army Family’ Receives AUSA’s Highest Honor

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‘The Army Family’ Receives AUSA’s Highest Honor

The Association of the U.S. Army’s highest award for selfless service to the United States was symbolically presented Oct. 15 to “The Army Family.”

The Marshall Award, named for soldier-statesman Gen. George Catlett Marshall, traditionally goes to an individual. This is the second time since 1960 that it has been awarded to a group. The previous time was in 2004, when it was awarded to the American soldier.

Army Pushes Ahead on Quality of Life Improvements

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Army Pushes Ahead on Quality of Life Improvements

Army housing remains the highest priority in a multifaceted effort to improve quality of life for soldiers and families, and initiatives to improve on-post housing have continued despite COVID-19-related restrictions, a senior Army leader said.

Under the oversight of a new Quality of Life Task Force, issues such as housing, health care, spouse employment, child care and household moves are being managed by subject-matter experts from Army headquarters and commands across the service.