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Your part in a ready Navy family.


I want to discuss something that is very important to you and our Navy, and that's family readiness. Family readiness has a direct impact on your job satisfaction, performance and retention. So, I ask you, what are you doing to fully prepare your family to meet the demands of Navy life and to be a ready Navy family?


As Sailors, we train and prepare to deploy in support of our Navy's missions. Now, think about your spouse, significant other, parents and other family members who stood by you when you joined the Navy and who continue to stand by you today. Are they trained, educated and prepared for Navy life during deployments? How about day-to-day operations?

The key to prepare your family is to talk to your chain of command and ask questions about what your command is doing for family readiness. You should be able to answer the following questions:

* Who is your ombudsman and how can he/she be contacted?

* Does your ombudsman have your family's contact information?

* Does your command write a family newsletter?

* Does your command have a Family Readiness Group?

* Does your command offer any programs to family members such as command indoctrination?

* Where are your nearest Fleet and Family Support Center, TRICARE and DEERS offices, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and medical treatment facility? Have you taken your spouse there?

Communication is the key. At the end of the day, you may not feel like talking about work, but it is very important that you are talking to your loved ones and giving them the access and information they need to navigate through Navy life. Navy life is a good life made better when armed with the knowledge of all the great programs we offer.

In a recent post on my Facebook page, I asked the question, "How do you remain informed about your Sailor's command and family readiness programs and opportunities?"

The majority of answers were that families don't feel like they are informed and don't know where to get the information from. Shipmates, it has to start with you!

There are many family support services and quality-of-life programs and benefits available to military families. We must continue to effectively get the word out about these programs that support our Navy through word of mouth- our ombudsman network, Family Readiness Groups, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and newsletters and internet sites, like the Fleet and Family Support Center and Military OneSource website.

Our Navy's family readiness programs, policies and services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our Sailors and their families. Shipmates, get your families involved and keep them involved. It's important that we realize that without our families, we could not meet the demands of today's Navy environment and increased mission requirements.

Finally, I would like to say, 'Tank you,' to all of our Navy spouses and families who continually support and serve our great Navy. Your role in your Sailor's life and the Navy is vitally important.


Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West

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Title Annotation:Speaking with Sailors; family readiness program
Author:West, Rick D.
Publication:All Hands
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2010
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