Monday, February 27, 2012

Military Monday: The FRG

Even though I have been an Army wife for only 3 years, I have had my fair share of good and bad experiences with the Family Readiness Group (FRG).  There are FRG groups with in most all units, and we even have one with the ROTC.  To explain more about this group, I interviewed, Brianna, my FRG leader from the ROTC (since she is my favorite one and has helped me immensely with some personal issues).

What is the FRG?

The FRG (Family Readiness Group) is an organization of volunteers. We are here to assist family members of soldiers with any concerns or need that they might have. If we can't help them, we can point them to someone who can.

Who can participate in the FRG?

As far as I am concerned, anyone and everyone! It's not just for wives.

How can I benefit from the FRG?

The most general answer for that would be that you can come get to know other people who are in a similar situation as you are. Military life is a very different lifestyle than "normal" life. When you are a part of the FRG, (Even if you just come to activities and are not a volunteer.) You are going to meet other spouses/parents/etc of soldiers who share your same lifestyle. In the military lifestyle, support is important! Not to mention that the FRG can direct you to resources that are out there for you and your families. There's counseling for so many different situations. There's financial education. And so much more!

How do I find the FRG?

Every unit is different. Some units may have a very active FRG, while others may not have one at all. Your best bet would be to go to the Commander of your unit and ask for the FRG's information! If your unit does not have one, YOU CAN START ONE!

There seems to be a stigma attached to the FRG that they can be clique-ish. What advice do you give people who have this concern?

My personal opinion is that an FRG should NOT be a clique. The FRG is not for one specific kind of person. It is an organization where we are here to support one another, no matter your ethnicity, gender, orientation, religion, etc. It should be a WONDERFUL opportunity to get to know all kinds of people. You can build strength from getting to know other people who are feeling the same feelings that you are. So my advice, as cheesy as it sounds, would be to leave past judgments at the door and be willing to get to know people. The beauty of the Military is that it brings a variety of people together, and we can all learn and grow from each other.

Is there anything else important about the FRG that we should know?

The only other thing that I can say that you may want to know, is that if you are interested in volunteering, and you are in Utah, you should become an "Official Volunteer." You can contact Ami Bruce, (email me, Cat @ nutsinanutshell(at)gmail(dot)com for her contact info) and she can come to your FRG and give you a training course that takes about an hour and a half. When you are an "Official Volunteer" you can attend different events where you learn the details about the FRG. It really is an AWESOME group!!!

Thanks Brianna for answering my questions!

I also want to add that not all FRG's are fantastic.  I have had some bad experiences with some of the leaders in my husband's last unit.  I was 7 months pregnant and they were so rude to me that I started crying at the unit Christmas party.

But I have had wonderful experiences with the ROTC one.  And a lot of the time, it's all about attitude.  If you are determined to be offended, put off, and not like it, then you will find a reason to not be a part of it. However, if you go in with a good attitude and give it your best, you may be surprised at what you find.  I am so busy that I don't have the time or desire to be an FRG leader... BUT I like to participate, bring my family to the functions and activities and show my support in any other way that I can.

FRG Girl's Night Out's: Last year, I thought this idea was a bit lame.  If I was going out to dinner, I wanted to go out with Ben not a group of girls that I didn't know well.  So I didn't go.  Then this year, I thought I really should give it a go... if I didn't like it, I didn't have to go bad, right?  So I went with a good attitude, participated in discussions, and had a really good time!  So don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and give it go!

Don't let people tell you how much they hate FRG, go to their functions and judge for yourself.  Because when and if your spouse deploys and you are away from family, the FRG can help you when you need it.


Okay, friends now it is your turn!  If you want to participate, take this button and post it in your post today:

THEN write a post on this topic:

The FRG: Whatever you feel like sharing about it! OR whatever it is called in other branches.

THEN come back here and leave us a link so we can come check it out!!

If you have no idea what "Military Monday" is click here!


New Mommy Confessions said...

Hey there! Love Military Monday. :)

Allison said...

Some day I hope to be a part of an active FRG.

trooppetrie said...

this is a great topic. I cannot wait to have time to set down tonight and write about it