Army Family Readiness, Sideways (Pt 3)
In Part 2, I said “Army Reserve Family Readiness needs more instigators,” like Jamie, the very worst missionary. The vague reason I gave: Because instigating means igniting change for the better. Whether it’s about the way Christians do missions, or about the way we do business in the Army Reserve. I want, and I want you to want, to instigate positive changes. To make Army Reserve Family Readiness better.
Well, I promised you more reasons. So here they come.
What follows is something I’ve bull-horned it for years. But the status quo, seems to have petrified the eardrums of everyone in the megaphone’s sound radius. Ughh. I guess I kept beating my head against the brick eardrums because it felt so good when I stopped. Well, no more. Now I come to you.
Why does the Army Reserve Family Readiness need instigators? I’m glad you asked.
Reason #1. It’s based on a bad model.
The basic model for Family Readiness in the U.S. Army that of the Active Component. That means it’s Installation Based. It’s built around active duty Soldiers and their families being assigned to an Active Army post (like Fort Bragg or Fort Benning). That means everyone served by a particular Family Readiness program lives within a reasonable commuting distance to the post.
Problem: The Army has a Reserve Component who’s people have non-military lives with non-military jobs who don’t live anywhere near a post. Even if they did, law and regulation says they can’t benefit from most installation support services. In fact, the Army Reserve has tens of thousands of Soldiers and Families who live hundreds and thousands of miles from the unit to which they’re assigned.
The Rub: Whomever thought of designing the AR Family Readiness program by using the Active Component model as a cookie cutter should be shot (that’s hyperbole, folks), right alongside of the approval authority who rubber-stamped it.
The Active-Component, installation-based model of Family Readiness can’t work with a geographically-dispersed Reserve Component. So why haven’t we thrown it out and started over?
You’re guess is as good as mine. I’m sticking with, too many who love their comfort with the status quo more than the half-million Americans that is the Army Reserve (about 200,000 Army Reserve Soldiers and their Family members).
Solutions? I’ll get to that, but first lets focus on the problems. We’ll pick up with that later.
Until next time, keep growing that instigator spirit!