Army spouses started Family Support Groups (FSGs) and Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) as part of a volunteer grassroots movement during the late 80s and early 90s. Veteran Army spouses realized that when they spent time encouraging, sharing, and communicating with less experienced Army spouses that units seemed to fare better during times of separation and crisis. After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Army recognized the positive effects of FSGs after studying and evaluating Lessons Learned from the Gulf War. By 2000, all Army commanders were required to sustain family readiness structures in every unit, and the acronym changed to FRG to emphasize the mission of communication, readiness, and self-sufficiency.

The Chief of Engineers decided that USACE should adapt the FRG Structure to support our deployed civilians. We utilize the term “Family Readiness Network” or FRN to distinguish our family readiness support network from the more traditional Army troops FRGs. Currently, Wilmington District has a significant number of our team members deployed, and many have left behind families in the local area. As our world continues in a state of persistent change, Wilmington District employees and their family members must also continue working toward mission readiness. FRN is a crucial building block of mission readiness.

 Purpose of FRN

·         Provide education and guidance on important topics or issues

·        Identify family needs

·         A source of social support, morale building, and friendship

·        Be a resource to families

·         An information / communication conduit

·         Foster connections and build camaraderie


 Family Readiness Roles

·        Provide families with pertinent information from USACE

·         Responsible for providing resources that help families solve their problems

·        Not responsible for solving families’ problems

·         Maintain communication with deployees and their families throughout the deployment cycle