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AFAP lets military community voice concerns on key quality of life issues

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:08PM July 25th, 2013

If military life seems frustrating at times and you feel there is nothing you could do to change things, think again.

People like you during the last 30 years identified needs and brought about the BOSS program, the Wounded Warrior program, TRICARE for Life for retirees, increases in housing allowance and Servicemembers Group Life Insurance and much more.

Through the Army’s grassroots program, Army Family Action Plan (Armed Forces Action Plan on Joint Base Lewis-McChord), the most important quality of life issues affecting the military community are identified and submitted to senior leaders for action, said Steve Wegley, Army Family Team Building and Armed Forces Action Plan program manager.

Voice your concerns and suggest improvements to your military life through the AFAP process. All who are part of the JBLM community, regardless of service branch or status, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, family members, surviving spouses and teens are invited participate.

“All kind of issues are submitted. People can submit as many issues as they want to,” Wegley said.

Volunteer delegates from the JBLM military community, including service members, spouses and retirees, review the issues during the AFAP conference in October. Organized in work groups of 10 to 12 members, conference delegates along with subject matter experts consider every issue, concern and suggestion submitted. Working groups address a variety of topics such as medical, benefits, entitlements, child care and education matters.

“Each work group is actually working the issues — prioritizing them and taking their top three issues and saying these are the ones we want to work at this conference. Those are the issues that get out-briefed on Oct. 10 to the JBLM leadership,” Wegley said. “This is a valuable tool for the Army leadership. It gives them a pulse of what the community is thinking, what is important to them.”

According to the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, while 90 percent of AFAP issues are resolved at the local level, about 61 percent of issues are applicable across the Department of Defense. Since its inception in 1983, AFAP has generated 126 legislative changes, 177 Army and Department of Defense policy changes, and 197 program and service changes.

So next time you run into a frustrating situation on JBLM, don’t feel discouraged. The AFAP program gives you the opportunity to submit your concerns and suggestions for improvement. For more information on the Armed Forces Action Plan contact AFAP at jblmafap@gmail.com, or call 253-967-3689. For online issue submission, visit www.jblmmwr.com/acs_afap.html and click on the Issues & Concerns tab/Online form.

“The most important aspect of this program is that it gives the members of the military community a voice to talk to leadership about which program they think should be changed, added and improved.” Wegley said.