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The National Guard Family Program’s mission is to establish
and facilitate ongoing communication, involvement, support, and recognition
between National Guard families and the National Guard in a partnership that
promotes the best in both.



ARLINGTON, VA 22202-3231

COMM # 888-777-7731
COMM FAX (703) 607-0762/DSN –

The NGB Office Personnel can be reached at [email protected]

Name Phone/Commercial/DSN
Ms. Dorothy Ogilvy-Lee
Chief, Family
Lt Col Kevin Little
Deputy Chief, Family Program
Ms. Alice R. Fleming
MAJ Mike Schultz
Program Manager
Mrs. Mandi Bagnal
Communications and Marketing
Mr. Paul Vann
Program Analyst
Mrs. Pamela
Communications and Marketing
Mrs. Fran Kraus
National Volunteer Coordinator
6848 South Revere Parkway

Englewood, CO 80112-6709

Fax – 303-677-8849


Each state is authorized one full-time, dedicated State
Family Program Coordinator (SFPC).


Families are the backbone of the National
Guard. We
deeply believe in the family as an integral part of the National Guard in its
365 years of existence. This website is dedicated to all

What is a Family Readiness
Group (FRG)?

The idea
behind a Family Readiness Group (FRG) is that Guard members and Guard families
benefit from helping one another cope with the rigors of Army and Air National
Guard life, particularly the challenges families deal with in everyday life
while Guard members are deployed.

During the
Revolutionary War, mutual help was quite obvious. Family members functioned as support troops
by cooking, mending, nursing, and carrying the wartime equipment in exchange for
getting half-rations for each adult and quarter-rations for each child.  Family members
helping one another was also evident in the frontier West, where the families
and soldiers shared the hardships of establishing and maintaining Army
communities as isolated posts in the middle of an often-hostile
There is a rather touching story of Mrs. Elizabeth (George) Custer, who,
after the defeat at Little Big Horn, went from one unit wife to another (each
now a widow), offering what comfort she could, even though she had just lost her
own husband and, because of the policies then in effect, was no longer eligible
for any Army benefits to help her restart her life. 

Today an FRG
is a company or battalion-level organization of Guardsmen, civilians, and family
member volunteers who provide mutual social and emotional support, outreach
services, and information to their fellow Guard and family members, specifically
those who belong to the unit, have a significant relationship with a Guard
member in the unit, or the FRG “adopts.” In other words, there is a spirit of
inclusion that does not stop with just the spouses of Guard members.  FRGs welcome those
who have an interest in the unit (employers, retirees, parents, aunts, uncles,
grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and significant others of single
Guardsmen), need its services, and/or are willing to help the FRG meet its
goals. This
collection of individuals who belong to the FRG is the unit

The National
Guard recognizes that helping families is its moral obligation and in its best
Families that can cope with (and in many instances actually enjoy) Guard
life are more likely to contribute to the community, allow their Guard members
to do their jobs well, and encourage their Guard members to remain in the
Guard. The
best help for families comes from peers as they learn how to handle various
aspects of Guard life. Hence, the Guard mandates that each unit
commander establish and support FRGs. To help FRGs grow and prosper, the Guard
provides training and materials. The FRG is not the only resource for helping
families. FRGs
are part of a larger Guard effort to help families adapt to the challenges of
Guard life.

The assistance that FRGs provide is the kind of help
we all need and try to get every day:

  • Good information to help us
    An opportunity to make
    Help with Guard issues;
    A chance to have some fun
    and talk through whatever may be on our minds.

Good information and friends who provide each other needed
emotional support and shared labor to meet daily tasks can and should be what
FRGs are. These are the very things that Guard families need to cope successfully
with all of the phases of Guard life. So if you need information about mobilization
and deployment, plumbers, carpentry, automotive, childcare, budgeting and
financial planning, bookkeeping, taxes, teenagers, TRICARE, pay issues, elder
care, and many other life issues, your Family Readiness Group is a good people
and information resource.

How is the FRG connected to the

The FRG is a
command program. FORSCOM Regulation 500-3-3, the Reserve Component Unit Commander’s
Handbook, directs unit commanders to establish a Family Readiness Group. This

  • Appointing
    an officer or senior noncommissioned officer as the unit’s Family Assistance
  • Supporting
    preparation of a telephone tree for FRG members. In today’s electronic age,
    telephone trees are evolving into e-mail trees.
  • Conducting
    annual briefings to family members.

activation and mobilization of a Guard unit, the FRG works with the unit’s Rear
Detachment and the unit’s Recruiting and Retention Noncommissioned Officer who
has the mobilization mission to operate a Family Assistance


In the National Guard, the Adjutant General
determines the need and location of the Family Assistance Center (FAC) upon
either federal or state mobilization. The Recruiting and Retention Managers
coordinate with the State Family Program Coordinator (SFPC) to establish and
execute FAC operations. In addition to military support staff, family
member volunteers and military retirees can volunteer to support the FAC
operation during a mobilization.

provides a variety of support to families from discussion groups, to food
pantries, to video teleconferencing. During the mobilization, your FAC is your
point of contact for help with any type of problem.  A telephone call to
the FAC trained staff and volunteers will either help solve your problem or
direct you to the appropriate program or agency. Your FAC can provide information on and
referral to essential services, including: Financial Management Assistance;
Information, Referral and Follow-up; Identification Cards and DEERS Enrollment;
Medical Care; Legal Assistance and Social Services.

As units are
mobilized and de-mobilized, the number of FACs will change. Check with your
State Family Program Coordinator for the Family Assistance Center nearest you.
Family Assistance Centers are in many different locations in each state. Some states have
one FAC while others may have several. Hours of operation vary. Call to make sure
the FAC is open before you make a long trip. The FAC is a focal point to coordinate
available resources, such as chaplain services, Red Cross, Veterans
Administration, and a host of other agencies with direct and indirect interests
in assisting and supporting military family. The six essential services that a FAC
provides are:

  • ID cards and DEERS enrollment
  • TRICARE Medical Health
  • Financial Service
  • Legal Service
  • Information and Referral
  • Family Support Groups

FAC and Army Community Service Centers are located
on most active military installations. National Guard members and their families are
eligible for many services throughout the year. During periods of extended active duty,
deployment and mobilization, members and their families are eligible to use the
full range of services. Check with your Family Support Center or Army
Community Service Center for a full list of programs and services for which you
may be eligible. 
A copy of the FAC Active and Reserve Component Handbook can be found


Army National Guard Websites and each State’s
Adjutant General addresses can be found:


The STARBASE Program serves
students and teachers by providing exciting hands-on learning experiences
combining personal development, teambuilding and hands-on enrichment in science,
math, and technology. Our Vision is to teach students strategies needed to
achieve their dreams and become responsible members of society.

STARBASE, a program for youth ages 6 through 18, is aimed
at improving math and science skills. The program starts at the elementary
school level in order to attract and prepare students at an early age for
careers in engineering and other science-related fields of study.

The program
principally exposes at-risk children and their teachers to real world
applications of math and science through experiential learning, simulations, and
experiments in aviation and space-related fields. The program also addresses
drug use prevention, health, self-esteem and life skills within a math- and
science-based program.

A map
of current participating STARBASE states can be found at

Through hands-on
learning, students improve their math, science, and technology-related skills.
Support system and extended-care networks are also provided for students as the
program tracks their improvement in the curriculum areas. Parents are encouraged
to become positively involved in their child’s learning process.

Schools with a high proportion of
economically and educationally disadvantaged students apply and are selected by
state and local selection committees.

Programs are staffed by federally reimbursed state
employees or contract personnel.


The National Guard ChalleNGe Academy
is a preventive rather than remedial youth-at-risk program. It targets
unemployed drug-free and law-free high-school dropouts, 16 to 18 years of age.
Core components of the program are citizenship, academic excellence (GED/high
school diploma attainment), life-coping skills, community service, health and
hygiene, skills training, leadership, and physical training. The five-month
residential phase is followed by a one-year mentoring relationship with a
specially trained member from each youth’s community.


Check with your individual state Guard website for information about your
state’s Kids Kamp.

The Military Family Resource Center (MFRC) is a tool for enhancing the
effectiveness of military family policy and programs. MFRC’s mission is to act
as a catalyst of information between the Department of Defense Military
Community and Family Policy (MCFP) office and military policy makers and program
staff and to deliver timely, efficient, and effective information services
through cutting-edge technology.

HOW…through our E-mail alerts, we advise you of new publications and
events. Review the

Policy and Special Issues
sections of the MFRC Web site to learn of new policies and to obtain tools that
will enhance your programs. Review our

Research and
Model Programs

sections for the latest on military family issues. Search our

Online Databases

to find documents related to military quality of life issues. Download
publications, information, and resources on our


MFRC also incorporates the
National Clearinghouse for the Military Child Development
. The Clearinghouse was
created by the Department of Defense in response to President Clinton’s urging
that the lessons learned from the Military Child Development Program be widely
shared with rest of the nation to improve the quality of childcare in the United
States. While this remains the central mission, the focus of the Clearinghouse
has been expanded to include information on military youth programs.

to sites that support Family Life Education

America’s Promise to Youth:
An organization dedicated to giving our youth a better start and chance for
fuller and richer life.

Child Education Coalition:
networking environment between Schools, Military Installations and

Military Family Institute:  Research, Studies and Reports on the Quality of Life
for Military Members and Families

National Crime Prevention
FAQ’s, Community Programs,
Training Checklist, Neighborhood Watch.  October is Crime Prevention

National Parent Information Network: 
(NPIN ) A site that
provides information and tools on Parenting Issues.

 A web site geared toward
the Military Life Cycle. Information for the Military Family

 Advice and
information for dual working families and raising children

Commissary shopping Commissary Benefits is another benefit
available to National Guard members. Shopping at the commissary can save a family
30% or more compared to shopping at civilian grocery stores.
National Guard personnel are authorized 24
commissary visits each year as a part of their non-pay military
compensation. With careful planning, 24 visits to the commissary can result in serious
savings. A market basket survey reported commissary shoppers save more than 30
percent on their grocery purchases. This means a Guard member shopping for a
family of four could save more than $2,440 a year by using the commissary.
Though commissary shoppers can always find individual prices higher or lower
than in a retail grocery store, the market basket survey proved that consistent,
savvy shopping at the commissary brings significant savings.

Unfortunately, many Guard members lose out on these savings because they
do not have a current DD Form 2529, U.S. Armed Forces Commissary Privilege Card,
for the calendar year. The Defense Commissary Agency does not issue these cards.
Anyone in the Guard who has not received a current card should contact his or
her unit orderly room or First Sergeant.

To shop in the commissary, Guard members or their immediate family
members need a valid military ID card and a current commissary privilege card
that entitles them to 24 shopping days. Cards are stamped or initialed at
checkout for each day of store visits, with multiple visits during the same day
counting as one day’s visit. During periods of active duty for training, Guard
members and their family members can visit the commissary as many times as they
wish by showing ID and active-duty orders without getting their card initialed.

Guard members may use their 24 commissary visits at their discretion
throughout the calendar year at whatever pace and schedule desired. However, any
commissary visits unused at the end of a calendar year do not carry over into
the next calendar year, becoming lost savings opportunities for shoppers.

The nature and scope of the Guard/Reserve commissary privilege is
established by Congress and implemented by the Department of Defense. Congress
has established the Guard/Reserve commissary privilege as 24 visits per calendar
year, and DoD has implemented this Congressional direction by requiring that
every Guard member have a current year Commissary Privilege Card, in addition to
valid ID, to document entitlement to the commissary privilege.

To find the commissary nearest you, visit the Defense Commissary Agency
web site at

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is responsible for providing the
commissary benefit, and is making this information available as a service to our
patrons. Only the U.S. Congress and Department of Defense have the authority to
determine the rules and regulations that govern the commissary benefit, and to
determine who is entitled to commissary privileges. Furthermore, DeCA has no
responsibility whatsoever for printing, requisitioning, preparing or issuing
Commissary Privilege Cards (CPC).

Who is eligible?

Current Guard/Reserve
Guard/Reserve retirees
Immediate family members

How often can I shop the commissary and what documentation do I
need to exercise my commissary privilege?

Non-active duty Guard/Reserve members are
authorized 24 commissary-shopping days per calendar year.

To shop the commissary, authorized Guard/Reserve members must present:

  • Valid DoD
    Guard/Reserve ID card
  • Current Year
    Commissary Privilege Card (CPC)

  • Authorized
    family members must show:

  • Valid DoD
    Reserve/Family Member ID card

  • Sponsor’s
    Current Year CPC

NOTE: CPCs are issued one per sponsor, not one per each member of
a family. Multiple visits to the same commissary on the same day, or to
different commissaries on the same day count as only one of the 24 commissary
shopping days.

Guard/Reserve ordered to short term (less than 30 days) active duty (AD),
active duty for training (ADT), or annual training (AT) are authorized unlimited
privileges during the inclusive dates of such duty. Guard/Reserve and their
authorized dependents must show a valid ID and copy of the Active Duty orders.
The CPC need not be presented or stamped when the appropriate orders are

Guard/Reserve ordered to long-term (more than 30 days) Active Duty are
issued Active Duty ID cards. These personnel and family members have unlimited
commissary privileges during the period of Active Duty, documented only by valid
ID-no orders or CPC required.

When do CPCs expire?
The CPC expires on 31 December of the year of issue. Unused visits do not
carry over to the next year.

How do I get my Commissary Privilege

CPCs are mailed to Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and Individual
Mobilization Augmentee (IMA), and retired Guard/Reserve in December for use
during the next calendar year. CPCs for Troop Program Unit (TPU) are mailed to
the Regional Support Commands for distribution through units. Check with your
unit administrator, regional support team or use one of the phone numbers listed

Army Reserve
1-800-318-5298 (ask for CPC information)
Air Force
Reserve 1-800-525-0102 (ext. 71228)
Navy Reserve 1-800
535-2699 (press 1, then press 3)
Marine Corps Reserve
1-800-255-5082 (ext. 3395)
Marine Corps Reserve – Ret.
(703) 784-9306 or 784-9307
Coast Guard Reserve 1-800-772-

Here are some web sites with additional information on CPC

Americans are again asking what they can do to show their support for
service members, especially those serving overseas in this time of war. Below
are Web sites for several organizations that are sponsoring programs for members
of the Armed Forces overseas. While it would be inappropriate for the Department
to endorse any specifically, service members do value and appreciate such
expressions of support:

Donate a calling card to help keep service
members in touch with their families at Operation Uplink at

Send a greeting via e-mail through Operation
Dear Abby at

Sign a virtual thank you card at the Defend
America: .

Make a donation to one of the military relief

Army Emergency Relief at


Navy/Marine Relief Society at <>
Air Force Aid Society at


Coast Guard Mutual Assistance at <>

Donate to “Operation USO Care Package” at

Support the American Red Cross Armed Forces
Emergency Services at

Volunteer at a VA
Hospital: to honor
veterans who bore the lamp of freedom in past conflicts.

Reach out to military families in your community,
especially those with a loved one overseas.

Please do not flood the military mail system with letters,
cards, and gifts. Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, the Department
cannot accept items to be mailed to “Any Service Member.” Some people have
tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an
individual service member’s address, which however well intentioned, clogs the
mail and causes unnecessary delays.

The support and generosity of the
American people has touched the lives of many service members, of who over
300,000 are deployed worldwide.


This web site will allow Guardsmen to request free phone cards from
Wal-mart for the holiday season. The VFW and Wal-mart will issue 500,000 of
these cards for Guardsmen that are overseas. The link is


The Army Family Liaison Office,, a
cts as the
honest broker for the Army Family and is dedicated to fostering well being,
serves as the Ombudsman, and communicates with the greater Army. 
Family Liaison Office (FLO NOTES) is a
monthly newssheet with helpful information on a wide variety of topics of interest to
Army families. 
“Army Families” is a quarterly publication shipped throughout the
world. Be sure
to visit the Army Families to view the current issue, or to
take a look at previous issues of this great publication.


Armed Forces Information Service
The Department of Defense information and news source can be
found at

Armed Forces Press

Timely coverage of the key Defense activities
and issues that affect military service members, their families, and DoD
civilians can be found at

Army Public

ArmyLINK News contains current Public Affairs
press releases and maintains a searchable historical database of previous

Army Times
Every week, the print
edition of Army Times, delivers to you exclusive, original, in-depth news and
analysis about your career, pay and benefits and issues impacting your
professional advancement. In addition to vital career news, Army Times is packed
with community information and active lifestyle features of interest to Army
personnel and their families.


The Army & Air
Force Hometown News Service is a field-operating agency supporting the
Secretaries of the Army and Air Force Offices of Public Affairs. Headquartered in
San Antonio, Texas, the small staff of 40 Army and Air Force military and
civilian personnel produces a variety of print and electronic news products
highlighting the accomplishments, and worldwide activities of individual
soldiers and airmen.


At the center of are Inside Washington Publishers’ six
defense publications — Inside the Pentagon, Inside the
Navy, Inside the Army, Inside the Air Force, Defense Information and Electronics
and Inside Missile Defense. Inside FAA, an exclusive biweekly report on civil
aviation activities, is also available through Inside

National Guard

National Guard Magazine is the monthly four-color journal
published by the National Guard Association of the United States for its
membership. It
features articles of interest on Guard developments, information about
association activities, items about Guard members and Guard units. It also contains
editorial columns by the NGAUS president.


The Rand Corporation helps improve policy and
decision making through research and analysis by widely disseminating research
findings. RAND (a contraction of the term research
and development) is the first organization to be called a “think tank.”

Today, RAND’s work is
exceptionally diverse assisting all branches of the U.S. military

Stars and

As the hometown
newspaper for service members, government civilians and their families in
Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific, Stars and Stripes offers the
same type of national and international news, sports and opinion columns found
in newspapers in the United States.


Information on the Army National Guard go to
Army National
Guard Recruiting


Air National Guard

Air National Guard Recruiting

Army National Guard

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve

Cold War Recognition Certificate


National Guard

Army National

Army Reserve

Naval Reserve

Marine Corps Reserve
Air National Guard
Air Force Reserve
Coast Guard

Office of the Chief, US Army

Operation Allied

Reserve Forces Policy Board

US Air Force
US Army
US Army Reserve
US Naval Reserve

Virtual Armory


Help for Small Businesses Affected by the Federal Call-Up of
Military Reservists or the National Guard

Military Reservists Disaster Loan Application Now Available

If your small
business has been adversely affected by the federal Title 10 call-up of members
of the National Guard or Reserves during a period of conflict, the U.S. Small
Business Administration can help.
Small businesses that
employ military reservists who are called to active duty, and are interested in
applying for a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) may now
download the application from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Web
site. The MREIDL program provides loans to eligible small businesses to cover operating
expenses that would have been met, but cannot be met because an essential
employee was called to active duty during a period of military conflict in his
or her role as a military reservist.
The loan
application can be downloaded from the Web site at

businesses may apply for MREIDLs of up to $l.5 million if they have been
financially affected by the loss of a key employee. These working capital loans
may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that
cannot otherwise be paid. The interest rate on these loans is 4 percent, with a
maximum term of 30 years. The SBA determines the amount of economic injury, the
term of each loan and the payment amount, based on the financial circumstances
of each borrower. The filing period begins the date the essential employee is
ordered to active duty and ends 90 days after the date the employee is
discharged from active duty. Businesses interested in applying for an economic
injury disaster loan can contact one of the four SBA disaster area offices to
obtain an application.


your small business currently has an SBA direct or guaranteed loan, you can ask
for repayment deferrals, interest-rate reduction and other assistance. To
request help, contact your SBA lender or your nearest SBA district office at

Business Counseling and Training
Through your local district office
and the SBA’s resource partners, you can receive business development help, and
business counseling and training to help your business while you or your
employees are on active duty with the National Guard or

Basic 7(a) Loan Guaranty
is the SBA’s primary business loan program to help qualified small businesses
obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through
normal channels. It is the SBA’s most flexible business loan program, since
financing can be guaranteed for most general business purposes. More information
can be found at

For More Information
information on these and other programs to serve you, your nearest SBA district
office is listed in the telephone directory under “U.S. Government.” You can
also contact us at 1-800-U ASK SBA, visit the Web site at

call the Office of Veterans Business Development at

Military Acronyms and

A large number of the more commonly used military
acronyms are provided in this section.


A number of the more commonly used
references are provided in this section.