Family Readiness Group Handbook
Preparations and Execution
This chapter provides the critical considerations in successfully preparing and executing your assigned missions. Higher headquarters (brigade and division) can employ economy of force in some areas to relieve the burden on subordinate units. The following considerations and recommendations are not all-inclusive; check for local regulations. The areas listed are fairly standard throughout the Army.
Rear Detachment (Rear D) Training and Personnel Responsibilities
Success or failure of the unit cannot rest on the shoulders of one individual. Soldiers will come and go, while new and different missions will continue throughout the deployment.
Commander and first sergeant
- Locally hosted Commander/First Sergeant (1SG) Course.
- ACS-sponsored Rear D Commander’s Course:
- Part 1: Web-based training via www.myarmylifetoo.com
- Part 2: Taught by local ACS
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
- Web-based Commander’s Safety Course via Army Knowledge Online
- Unit status report (USR)
S1, training room, and command finance noncommissioned officer (CFNCO)
- Electronic Military Personnel Office (eMILPO)
- S1 paperwork
- Noncommissioned officer efficiency reports (NCOERs)
- Mail handler
- Publications clerk
- Manifest paperwork
- Daily status report; personnel accountability
- Dental/medical readiness
- Meal and ID cards
- Training room. Standard Army Training System (training schedules)
- Wounded-in-action (WIA) Soldier benefits
- Budget counseling
- Army Emergency Relief (AER) loans
- Government travel card
- Housing coordinator
- Ammunition (although most units turn in and close accounts, which require reopening by the advanced echelon on redeployment):
- Account balances
- Signature cards
- Ammunition storage, including blanks for memorial rehearsals
- Temporary duty
- NCO Education System
- Troop schools:
- Combat lifesaver
- Bus driver
- Equal opportunity/Consideration of others (CO2)
- Off-post schools: Sniper
- Master Driver: Provides the capability to begin licensing replacement Soldiers; handles licensing requirements for Rear D.
- Unit-Level Logistics System (ULLS)-S4 and Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced System (PBUSE)
- Financial liability investigations (FLI) (formerly reports of survey)
- Statement of charges
- Unserviceable turn-in through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO)
- Property book management:
- Turn-in and receipt of equipment and buildings
- Transfer of equipment
- Government Purchase Card (IMPAC)
- Arms room:
- Small arms repair parts (SARP) accountability
- Physical security
- ULLS-G (maintenance); only required if the unit is maintaining equipment and vehicles:
- Vehicle parts
- Weapons parts (SARP)
- DA Form 5988E, Equipment Inspection and Maintenance Worksheet
- Transportation motor pool (TMP) vehicle coordination
- Barracks utilization reports
- Key control
- Repairs and utilities (R&U)
- Automation (Director of Information Management)
- Army substance abuse NCO (unit prevention leader)
- Automation security
- Arms room small arms maintenance
- SARP custodian
- Family Advocacy Program (commander)
- Family Readiness Group (commander)
- Fire safety
- Government purchase card
- Installation property
- Equal opportunity NCO
- Leave and pay (1SG/personnel administration center [PAC] clerk)
- Motor pool and physical security
- Records management
- Supply management NCO
- Weight control NCO – 1SG
- Government travel card
- Safety and occupational health
- CO2 NCO
Keys to success
- Identify shortfalls and train early.
- Cross-train personnel utilizing NCO Development Program (NCODP); cross-train all personnel:
- Force-feed NCODP; include in training schedules.
- Train at least two personnel for each job.
- Have experienced NCOs brief at NCODP (i.e., an NCO returns from body escort duty and briefs all NCOs on the body escort process).
- Search for certification prior to deployment:
- Collect training certificates.
- Identify strengths of assigned personnel.
- Identify additional duties assigned to Soldiers from their previous unit.
- Establish training records.
- Utilize staff assistance visits from the Inspector General’s office to ensure proper systems are in place.
- Utilizing checklists equates to maintaining standards.
- Interview returnees and incoming Soldiers for special skills and training; leverage individuals.
- Assign responsibilities; hold personnel accountable for specific tasks and duties.
- Many of the required schools are in high demand; start the enrollment process early.
- Select the team. Lack of personnel will be the greatest challenge initially. Work with the command sergeant major (CSM) to place the right NCOs in the right positions.
- Train the team:
- Unit - collective training
- FRG (leaders are the target; train them on the organization, the mission, the command philosophy, and their role in casualty operations)
- Conduct predeployment briefings:
- Deploying commander briefs expectations.
- CSM briefs policies on rest and recreation (R&R) leave, emergency leave, and other policies as needed.
- RDC briefs responsibilities of the Rear D, the FRG, and the Families.
- Collect data for the family member database.
- Allow Families to meet the Rear D Soldiers they will interact with during the deployment.
- Do not give out unit office numbers. Provide the numbers for the ACS desk or FRG liaison.
- Answer questions for the Families and Soldiers.
- 100 percent accountability for attendance. Include single Soldiers.
- Encourage Families to meet and confirm information with FRG leaders.
- Copy and scrub all Soldier Readiness Packets (SRPs). Maintain at a minimum DD Form 93 (Record of Emergency Data), Servicemember's Group Life Insurance (SGLI) information, and family care plans.
- Collect counseling and training packets on all assigned Soldiers.
- Establish systems and exercise systems during the mission rehearsal exercise (MRE).
- Update systems based on the after-action report (AAR) from the MRE.
- Remain intact following the MRE.
- Conduct quality inventories, establish accountability, and split property books.
- Continue to refine processes and guidance with the commander and CSM.
- Publish a plan for building closeout.
- Determine chains of command and reporting requirements.
Deployment: Daily Operations
- Scrub manifests with the unit alpha roster immediately upon the departure of the last main body flight (provides 100 percent accountability). Complete paperwork to update the roster.
- Develop and publish a battle rhythm: Good units do routine things routinely:
- Training meetings
- Inventories and property accountability
- Publish training schedules
- Physical training (PT), including remedial PT
- Rehearse casualty battle drills until all leaders know the drills.
- Conduct memorial rehearsals at least monthly; the firing detail practices weekly.
- Direct each FRG to conduct a meeting within the first ten days of deployment. Families are thirsty for information since their Soldiers will have trouble communicating while in transit.
- One member of the command team should attend all FRG meetings; the ACS NCO attends as well.
- Develop good working relationships with all supporting agencies on post; use NCOs to work issues at the lowest levels possible.
- Recognize people and agencies for support. A certificate and a unit coin go a long way to enhance community support. Publicly recognize volunteers.
- Communicate with the FRG advisor constantly. Work with FRG leaders for assistance with family issues (two-way communication).
- Do not make promises the Rear D cannot keep.
- Execute legal actions quickly and with an even hand. Establish standards and stick to them.
- Conduct AARs of key events; make changes to systems as needed.
Remember, teamwork is the key - that includes the command forward, the entire Rear D, and the FRG.
Nothing is more important at the end of a unit’s deployment than successfully receiving and reintegrating the unit. All other successes or failures do not matter if things are handled poorly during redeployment. Below are some considerations for successful redeployment and reintegration.
- Communicate with the forward unit early. Outline the redeployment flow and remain involved in the development of milestones and time lines.
- Determine a cut-off for sending Soldiers forward. Conduct a troop-to-task evaluation as part of the military decision-making process.
- Coordinate with the forward unit on the composition of the advanced echelon (ADVON):
- The purpose of the ADVON is to assist in the reception and reintegration of the returning unit.
- The CSM must make wise decisions in the composition of the ADVON:
- Quality Soldiers and NCOs.
- Armorers for each company to receive sensitive items and establish unit arms rooms. The armorers need to bring current documentation, signed by the commander, required for the arms room.
- Key control NCOs for each company to issue barracks and organizational keys.
- Senior maintenance NCO and warrant officers to establish the motor pool and maintenance accounts.
- Drivers to assist in reception responsibilities.
- Representative for each staff section to establish staff offices and accounts.
- The ADVON should plan to take block leave with the last redeploying flight in order to complete the unit’s reception.
- Develop comprehensive checklists for reception and reintegration.
- Utilize the unit’s chaplain to assist in the evaluation of troubled Soldiers. Seek help for Soldiers who are not coping well or are not ready for reintegration.
- Brief FRG leaders on redeployment plans. Keep the Families informed. Caution: Do not exceed time lines for arrival notification due to operations security and changes in flights. Reception ceremonies are official functions, and the ACS section, not the FRG, should make the notification to Families of the anticipated times.
- Conduct rehearsals for every returning flight.
- Work with the garrison staff and higher headquarters to have barracks and organizational buildings prepared for the unit to occupy upon return. Certify all arms rooms.
- Keep property secured and separated until property book merge inventories are complete. Plan to issue and hand receipt certain equipment for the units to conduct basic garrison operations immediately.
- Remain intact through the unit’s block leave period. The Rear D is responsible for the unit until the end of block leave; therefore, every Soldier assigned to the Rear D at the time of redeployment remains until a later deactivation date.
- During block leave, the chain of command of each subordinate unit is responsible for its Soldiers. Keep them informed, and remember that they make decisions on actions required to resolve issues.
- Plan and execute property book merge inventories, which include pre-inventories. It is the Rear D’s property until the property books are merged. Maintain a copy of the documentation, even after permanent change of station (PCS), just in case there is an issue later.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|