Chapter 3 Family Readiness Officer1. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to define the roles andresponsibilities of the Family Readiness Officer (FRO) and, ifapplicable, Deputy FRO.2. Roles and Responsibilities. The FRO is the pivotal member of theCFRT. The FRO shall be a uniformed service member in pay grade E-7 orabove assigned in writing as a collateral duty and directly reportingto the CO. The FRO shall provide direct coordination of the CPFRPbetween the CO, Sailors, and families to support the goals outlined inthis manual and the CO’s intent. The primary duty of the FRO is toserve as a communication portal to the command Ombudsman, FRG Leader,Sailors, and their families. If possible FRO responsibilities shouldbe assigned to an individual in a non-deploying billet. In the eventa FRO must deploy the CO will appoint, in writing, a Deputy FRO. TheFRO will never be assigned as a Command CACO to prevent a conflict ofresponsibility during a casualty/crisis situation, refer to Chapter 6for further guidance. The responsibilities of the FRO can be quitedemanding; CO’s should exercise caution and consider the impact tooverall command readiness before assigning the FRO to additionalduties not associated with the CPFRP. Assignment of multiplecollateral duties may negate the objective, neutral, and unfilteredrelationship the FRO must develop and foster with Sailors andfamilies. The FRO ensures resources are leveraged to educate,prepare, and empower Sailors and their families as directed by theCOs intent and vision. The FRO’s duties are: a. The FRO shall remain aware of the family readiness needs ofthe command, and educate themselves on all available family supportresources, services, agencies and organizations to promote familyreadiness. Appendix B provides complete list of recommended FROtraining. At a minimum, the FRO shall attend the following NECCFamily Readiness Team trainings: (1) NECC Family Readiness Symposium (2) NECC CFRT Training (3) NECC portal trainingsThe FRO shall also attend the following Fleet and Family ServicesCenter trainings: (1) Ombudsman Basic Training (OBT) (2) Family Readiness Group Leadership trainingNote: If OBT is not readily available, the FRO shall take the OBT
webinar training. If FRG training is not available the FRO shallcontact the local FFSC representative for an I&R briefing. b. The FRO shall conduct personal and family readiness screeninginterviews with each Sailor as part of the command’s official check-inprocess. During the interview, the FRO shall distribute CPFRPOrientation Packets. The contents of an orientation package will varyamong commands, but all should contain at a minimum: (1) COs Welcome and Policy Statement. (2) CPFRP points of contact, website address and toll-freenumbers. (3) Information on CPFRP official communication processes,e.g., command/ombudsman/FRG website, NECC/command/ombudsman/FRGFacebook page, command or Ombudsman newsletters, etc. (4) A CPFRP Authorization Form, (Appendix c) commonly referredto as “contact sheets” with instructions for completion. (a) The FRO shall provide a copy of each completed CPFRPAuthorization Form to the Ombudsman. (b) CPFRP Authorization Forms (Contact Sheets) may bereleased to FRG Leaders if they have been designated as an officialvolunteer and the Sailor provides consent on the form. c. The FRO shall contact the spouse or designated family of anewly reporting Sailor within 30 days of the individual reportingaboard. In accordance with reference (f) command authorities maycontact family members with or without the sponsor’s consent whenrelaying official information directly related to family readiness.Upon Sailors reporting to a command spouse’s contact information shallbe given to the FRO. If a Sailor or their spouse refuse to providespouse information the Sailor will be counseled about the benefits ofthe program by either the CO, COS/CSO/XO or CMC. Should a Sailorsspouse choose not to participate, the Sailor will sign the CPFRP Opt-Out Form, (Appendix d). The spouse will be asked to sign the form,but if the request is refused, a Sailor senior in rank to the subjectSailor will sign as a witness in addition to the FRO. The FRO willcontinue to contact the Sailor and their spouse until the form issigned by both parties. The FRO will continue to attempt tocommunicate with a Sailor’s spouse even during a period of separationor pending divorce unless the process for refusal to participate asstated above is completed using the CPFRP Opt-Out Form. d. The FRO may provide official communication with the spouse andfamily members of Sailors. For the protection of the Sailor’s rightof privacy, Sailors must designate, by name and in writing, familymembers authorized to receive command information. Under nocircumstances will contact information be changed, added to or deleted
or provided to anyone unless authorized in writing by the Sailor. e. The FRO shall brief the prospective CO prior to turnover andprovide an assessment of the CPFRP. As the family readiness subjectmatter expert, it is the responsibility of the FRO to ensure that theCO’s directives regarding the command’s family readiness posture arecurrent. The CPFRP budget should be discussed with the CO to assistthe command in establishing funding priorities. f. The FRO shall promote personal and family readiness programs.To ensure effective marketing and promotion of all available programs,the FRO must be familiar with the concepts and information providedand be able to articulate the benefits of each. g. The FRO shall attend NECC CFRT training within 30 days ofassignment. The FRO assigned to a reserve command shall attend NECCCFRT training within 60 days of assignment. If assignment of a FROoccurs in close proximity to a change of command the prospective COmay waive the 30/60 day training requirement so the FRO and new CO mayattend the training together. Course completion will be documentedand reported to the NECC Family Readiness Director. h. The FRO shall attend FRO Training within 30 days of assignmentand the R/C FRO’s shall attend FRO training within 60 days ofassignment. i. The FRO shall coordinate appropriate and timely training forthe command’s Ombudsman and FRG Leader. j. Individuals who have previously served as a FRO and completedFRO training may be appointed as FRO at their gaining command whentransferring to a new duty station. If the new duty station is not inthe same geographic location then the FRO shall attend NECC CFRTtraining and FFSC resource training. FROs shall also re-attend NECCCFRT training with every new CO. k. The FRO shall ensure the timely submission of authorizedvolunteer reimbursement claims to the command Supply Department. l. The FRO will coordinate Family Readiness training for Sailorsand their families. m. The FRO will coordinate command leadership attendance atgraduations of Ombudsmen Basic Training and FRG Leader Course forattendees from their command. n. The FRO shall arrange for all appropriate CPFRP administrativeand logistical support to include but not limited to any necessarytransactions between the CPFRP and other installation militaryorganizations, such as the military post office, printing facilities,and the disbursing office.
o. In addition to assigned Sailors the FRO is responsible for thefamily readiness of individuals assigned TAD to the command and shallmaintain a record for anyone augmenting the command. Maintain arecord for Sailors TAD to the command (ie. Reservists and supportpersonnel). p. The FRO shall not use email distribution lists to announcenon-CPFRP events or solicit non-CPFRP related materials or donations.The FRO shall include a signature block on all emails with at leastthe following information: (1) Name, rank/grade. (2) Position/title (Family Readiness Officer, MSRON 4). (3) Address and phone numbers, duty and cell, if applicable. (4) Email address. (5) The FRO may include a favorite quotation or saying. (6) Disclaimer: Information is distributed in this email asinformation of common interest for military members and theirfamilies/contacts. Use of their information does not advertise norimply endorsement of any commercial activity or product by theDepartment of Defense, U.S. Navy or this command. r. CACO Notification. The FRO shall NOT participate in CACOnotification s. Survivor Support. The FRO shall coordinate survivor supportefforts through the CACO. Further guidance is addressed in Chapter 6.3. Deputy FRO. COs may designate a Deputy FRO to work directly forthe FRO and assist in the performance of duties. Deputy FROs will bea member of the command and should be in the pay grade of E6 orhigher. The Deputy FRO position is a collateral duty. If the FRO isabsent from the command for a prolonged period, their duties andresponsibilities may be passed to the Deputy FRO. If assigned to ageographically dispersed command, Deputy FROs may be assigned toperform the same roles and have the same responsibilities as the FRO,in locations distant from the CO. In these instances, the Deputyworks directly for the CO and the relationship between the FRO andDeputy FRO will be one of communication and not direction.4. Administrative Support. Commands should provide administrativesupport to the FRO. In the absence of the FRO anyone providingadministrative support shall not fulfill any role or responsibility ofthe FRO or Deputy FRO.5. Higher Echelon FROs. Higher Echelon FROs are an assistanceresource for subordinate command FROs. They provide advice,
mentorship, support and guidance through continual communication andliaison. The Higher Echelon FRO will be called upon to assistsubordinate command FROs in situations of heightened crisis or wheresubordinate FRO billets are vacant for very brief periods. HigherEchelon FROs will also provide support to subordinate commands duringperiods of heightened deployment or training requirements. The HigherEchelon FROs assist in the development, implementation, and evaluationof subordinate CPFRP. They conduct periodic assessments ofsubordinate commands’ personal and family readiness programs andprovide appropriate recommendations for improvements. Higher EchelonFROs are responsible for disseminating local/applicable information toFROs supporting subordinate CO’s within the same community who do nothave a Higher Echelon FRO on their installation. This informationincludes but is not limited to advertisement about local events,general military training, or any other information that isdisseminated to subordinate unit FROs. Higher Echelon FROs are alsoresponsible for keeping the CO apprised of the state of theirsubordinate command personal and family readiness programs as itpertains to staffing and compliance with NECC policy.6. Support Services. Support services are defined as those servicesrequired to support the FRO and the CPFRP mission. Most supportservices are provided by NECC as they are administrative in nature;however, some support services are clearly for the benefit of thecommand. For example: a. Nametags and Business Cards. The military uses ranks anduniforms to identify personnel. In an organization, like a FamilyReadiness Group, where all participants may not be familiar with allof the roles within a CFRT, nametags and business cards may be helpfulidentifiers. The decision for CFRT members to wear nametags is acommand prerogative. Certain circumstances that may warrant a nametagwould be an evening FRG meeting, or a symposium in which civilianattire is worn. As such the command shall support such a requirementfinancially and administratively. The decision to issue the FRObusiness cards is also a command prerogative. As such the commandshall support such a request financially and administratively. b. Cell Phone/Blackberry. It is imperative that the FRO beavailable to the CO, Sailors and families outside normal duty hours.Commanding Officers should consider this requirement when prioritizingdistribution of command-issued cell phones or Blackberrys. In theevent a command-issued cell is not available the command must developa plan to support communication requirements. If a command-issuedcell is available for purposes of continuity, a phone number may becreated for the billet to pass forward as the FRO position changeshands. c. Meeting Space. The command will provide a designated spacefor the FRG to meet privately with Sailors or family members. d. FRO Conduct. FROs must exemplify the highest standards of
personal conduct and integrity. They are subject to the samestandards of conduct and ethics regulations of the CPO Mess andWardroom and will conduct their duties and responsibilities in aprofessional and competent manner. See reference (h) for additionaland detailed ethics information. e. Performance Issues. COs must clearly address performanceexpectations with their FRO within 30 days of assumption of command orappointing a new FRO. Reserve COs must clearly address performanceexpectations with the FRO within 60 days of assumption of command orappointing a new FRO. Establishing open lines of communication andperformance expectations will allow the FRO the best opportunity tosucceed. Two-way communication is key.