AUSA Family Readiness is dedicated to providing Army families the tools and resources they need to help them manage the challenges of the military life cycle. 

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. 

45 Fed Programs Help Troops, Families Find Jobs

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The Pentagon
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45 Fed Programs Help Troops, Families Find Jobs

There are 45 different federal programs administered by 11 agencies aimed at helping service members and their families find civilian employment, creating a web of fragmented and often overlapping help that would be far more effective with more coordination and better performance goals, the Government Accountability Office reports. 

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.

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.

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.

PCS Travel to Restart Soon to Some Locations

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PCS Travel to Restart Soon to Some Locations

The Pentagon has lifted an order restricting almost all travel for service members and their families, replacing it with a new conditions-based plan to better match cities and states as the U.S. military slowly recovers from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial stop-movement order, which was put in place in early March and then extended through June 30, affected everything from permanent change-of-station moves to temporary duty assignments.