If you’ve been in the military community long you know the “chain of command” is everything.
For new military spouses, this might seem confusing if you’ve been used to traditional employment where you’re welcome to bring questions, concerns, or problems above your boss’s head. The military, of course, just doesn’t work this way. Our spouses must go to the person above them, who reports to the person above, them and so on. Very rarely does your service member have the opportunity to report directly to the Commanding Officer. For us spouses, it’s similar! We have liaisons in the community that fulfill this role and they are typically military spouses. The military cares about the morale of its service members and they know a happy home allows for the service member to focus on his or her mission.
These liaisons have different names depending on the branch; however, their role is common:
- Serve as a link between the Commanding Officer and Military Spouses and families to ensure the general morale, health, and welfare of the command families
- Provide a compassionate and supportive ear or shoulder during times of stress or tragedy
- Assist with resources and information during Permanent Change of Stations (PCS)
- Offer vital support during natural and man-made disasters
- Serve as a link for families during deployments, mobilizations, or geographic separation
- Offer confidential support except when mandatory reporting is necessary
The Marine Corps have a paid Family Readiness Officer (FRO). You can find your FRO on your unit’s Marines.mil page or through your spouse or unit.
The Army has several layers of support. The spouse would first contact their FRG (Family Readiness Group) leader, the FRG leader would then go to the FRA (Family Readiness Advisor) – who is usually a senior spouse, and they could go to the FRL (Family Readiness Liaison). You can find more about your unit’s FRG here.
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner & Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of New Orleans