Military units are not ready until Families are ready, and the events of September 11, 2001 have forever changed the way we look at Family Readiness. Rolling deployments and the Global War On Terror (GWOT) have dictated a new state of readiness for our Service Members, Employers, and most importantly, our Families.
Our Service Members are increasingly called upon to respond to our Nation’s security needs, and local emergencies or disasters. They are our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands and wives who have volunteered to serve. However, for every patriotic member we see in uniform, there are the "unsung heroes”, our Family members, who face the daily challenges of that commitment to serve and the unique demands of separation resulting from deployment.
Everyday, these family members dedicate themselves to this State and Nation by supporting our patriots. The mission of the Rhode Island National Guard can not be accomplished unless our Families are properly prepared for the possibility of deployment. Through the use of Family Readiness training, team building, Family Readiness groups, constant communication, and an army of volunteers, we prepare our Families to meet the challenges of deployment and the goal of self-sufficiency.
When asked to prioritize their issues, the overwhelming concern of our Soldiers and Airmen is "What will happen to my Family?" Our Family Program, assisted by well-organized volunteers, stands ready, willing, and able to assist the units throughout the deployment cycle. Anytime the Service Member leaves home, whether to attend basic or annual training, to serve as a peacekeeper or in harms way, the Family must be prepared.
The State of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island National Guard are strong supporters of the Army Family Covenant and the Rhode Island Military Family Covenant.
We recognize the commitment and increasing sacrifices that our Families are making every day. We recognize the strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their Families. We are committed to providing Soldiers and Families a Quality of Life that is commensurate with their service. We are committed to providing our Families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive. We are committed to building a partnership with Military Families that enhances their strength and resilience. We are committed to improving Family Readiness by:
- Standardizing and funding existing Family programs and services
- Increasing accessibility and quality of healthcare
- Ensuring excellence in schools, youth services and child care
- Expanding education and employment opportunities for Family members.
This, Family Readiness, is the Commander’s Program; as such our goal, in preparation, is to make Family Readiness as high a priority as the mission itself.
We must remember, MISSION FIRST, FAMILIES ALWAYS.
Major General Kevin McBride
Adjutant General Rhode Island,
Commanding General Rhode Island National Guard