By Tim McGough, Fleet and Family Support Program
WASHINGTON - The famous African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is exactly what Commander, Navy Installations Command’s (CNIC) Fleet and Family Readiness (FFR) is attempting to ensure service members and their families receive the best services and support now and after they leave the military.
More than 50 representatives from all four services and numerous federal and non-federal organizations gathered at the Washington Navy Yard for the Military and Veteran Service Organization Transition Roundtable.
“The goal of this meeting was to have a meaningful discussion between government entities,” said W.K. Jones, Work & Family Life Programs Manager at CNIC and roundtable facilitator. “We are meeting with both military and veteran service organizations regarding Transition Assistance, which will help us and them (the other services) with transition assistance now and in the future.”
Each service was given time to present the unique aspects of their Transition Assistance Program, highlighting how their programs work and what are their best practices.
Transitioning service members usually begin planning on either retiring or leaving the military at least a year before the “fateful day”. It could be said, that many of them do not know exactly what they are going to do once they get out.
Military spouse and Hope for the Warriors representative Erin Lester said, for various reasons transition for service members happens multiple times once they have actually gotten out of the military. The examples she gave were employment, medical status, and finding trusted resources.
Those trusted resources were in attendance at the Admiral Gooding Conference Room included the American Red Cross, Military Officers Association, and the Department of Labor to name a few. The Marine Corps’ Marine and Family Division was on hand to share their transition program’s best practices at this event.
“I think it is wonderful that the Navy and the Marine Corps are coming together to work towards supporting and guiding our Sailors, Marines and their families to a smooth and successful transition,” said, Shauna Turner director, Family Readiness Program.
Although it looks like a large step in the right direction, only time will tell if this collaboration will offer transitioning service members and their families the benefits they have earned while serving in the armed forces.
“Because this is still a new collaboration, we will determine a way forward for these meetings to build better relationships and define our goals,” said Ed Cannon, director, Fleet and Family Readiness. “This is just the beginning and the continuation of partnerships of this sort will be very instrumental in leveraging our resources to best support service members and their families.”
Fleet and Family Readiness programs at CNIC are responsible for policy development, resourcing and oversight of quality of life programs for Sailors and their families. The mission of the FFR team is to maximize the physical, emotional, and social development of the Navy family. Fleet and Family Readiness enables a ready Navy force through its Fleet Readiness, Family Readiness, and Navy Housing Programs. It also includes the Support Services Center and the Navy Wounded Warrior Program.
For more information on Fleet and Family Readiness, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/ffr.html