Spouses of leaders from throughout Fort Bragg convened Feb. 23, at the Family Readiness Group Center to receive information about how to better serve Family members in their units during an “Icing on the Cake” event.
Hosted by Melissa Townsend, spouse of Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg senior commander, the event focused on the roles and responsibilities of FRG personnel, legal procedures for FRGs, volunteer management, event planning and protocol.
Townsend said she wanted to host the event to allow spouses an opportunity for professional development, which is important to her.
Although the event was geared toward battalion-level and higher spouses of commanders and command sergeants major, and spouses of O-4 service members, the information is beneficial for all FRG personnel.
“You can only empower Families if they have good information,” Townsend said.
Karen Hirtz with Army Community Service Mobilization and Deployment, briefed the attendees on the structure of FRGs and the different roles and responsibilities of FRG advisors, leaders and unit Family readiness liaisons.
Kelsey Gabby, with XVIII Abn. Corps Staff Judge Advocate office, said there are many things FRGs must consider regarding how funds are used, what is appropriate fundraising and how donations can be accepted.
Gabby said FRGs should always consult their unit judge advocate or legal representative before any fundraising event or initiative as well as before accepting a donation. She explained there are a lot of “it depends” regarding if something is legally acceptable or not.
“We need to look things up … we don’t want to give bad advice,” she said.
Cathy Mansfield, Fort Bragg Volunteer Services coordinator, explained to participants the importance of FRG members registering through the Volunteer Management Information System. Because FRG leaders work as volunteers, the hours they spend working in an FRG capacity should be logged.
Mansfield also explained the volunteer awards program and the process for submitting award nominations. Contact the Volunteer Program at 396-8160 to learn more about nominating an FRG or Family member for a volunteer award.
Fort Bragg is home to many venues for holding FRG meetings and events, said Michele Hagwood from the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation business operations office.
FRGs can host functions at traditional venues like Iron Mike Conference Center, Sports USA or McKellar’s Lodge or they can do something a little different and schedule events at one of Fort Bragg’s bowling alleys or at Ryder Golf Course’s Divot restaurant.
A full listing of recreation and dining options is available at the website https://bragg.armymwr.com.
Carol Weart, with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command protocol office, rounded out the event with a presentation about manners and etiquette at military functions.
She explained the proper way introductions should be made and how to properly negotiate a receiving line.
“Never take a drink with you through the receiving line,” she said.
She also explained that as spouses in an FRG role or as a spouse of a command team member, making others feel welcome, comfortable and important is essential.
ACS offers classes and events to military spouses year long. Visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/categories/community-support for a listing of resources and events.