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.

Dialogue, Relationships First Steps to Eliminating Bias

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Dialogue, Relationships First Steps to Eliminating Bias

Unconscious biases in the Army against people from another country, of another race or sexual orientation can be dissolved through dialogue, education and personal relationships, according to participants in a virtual discussion hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

McCarthy Promises Action as Army Faces Challenges

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McCarthy Promises Action as Army Faces Challenges

The Army’s top civilian leader is pledging to seek “enduring change” during a challenging year that has seen the service grapple with a global pandemic, the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen and calls for increased diversity and inclusion in the ranks.

“The Army is committed to taking a hard look at ourselves, and in doing so, there has been a reckoning,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Aug. 6. “We have to address the challenges and failures our soldiers endure.”

General Counsel Nominee Recalls Military Childhood

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General Counsel Nominee Recalls Military Childhood

The nominee to serve as Army general counsel says growing up as a military child gives her a good understanding of family housing needs. 

Michele Pearce is a former Air Force officer who grew up in a Navy family, and her husband is a retired Air Force officer. “My values and beliefs were shaped by my parents and the opportunity I had to grow up on military bases and live in integrated and diverse communities,” she said, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee she looked forward to working on diversity issues and policies related to improving housing.  

New Web Tool Helps Families With Special Needs

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New Web Tool Helps Families With Special Needs

A new digital tool known as “EFMP & Me” is now available to help military families with special needs get personalized assistance and access to the information and resources they need. 

“The Department of Defense is committed to supporting our families with special needs, and EFMP & Me is an important enhancement to the Exceptional Family Member Program,” Kim Joiner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said in a statement.

DoD Unveils New Safety Measures for PCS Moves

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DoD Unveils New Safety Measures for PCS Moves

The military is putting in place increased safety measures to protect troops and their families as it prepares for peak moving season during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced May 6.

The measures, effective immediately, were directed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and are in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 protocols.

Thaw Ahead for Frozen PCS Moves

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Thaw Ahead for Frozen PCS Moves

The Army expects to slowly increase the number of soldiers allowed to move to their new duty stations as the service puts in place safety measures to protect the force during the COVID-19 pandemic, senior officials said.

More than 48,000 soldiers and families were scheduled to move between March and August, said Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands, the deputy Army chief of staff for personnel, but many have been in limbo because of a stop movement order that restricted almost all travel for troops, civilian employees and their families.