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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Family Readiness assessment slated

By Art Powell | | August 13, 2009

Marines assigned to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., and Marine Corps Systems Command here are encouraged to take a Unit Assets Inventory Monday - Aug. 28.

The inventory is an online assessment tool that examines the perceptions of Marines about their connections with others and about their personal and family readiness.

“In 2008, General (James T.) Conway wanted to get an assessment of how ready his Marine Corps families were. So, the Family Readiness Assessment Tool, also known as the Unit Assets Inventory program, was developed. We launched it here this year,” said Richard Walker, family readiness officer, Family Readiness Command Team, MCLB Albany. “Policy dictates that a new commander, in this case, Colonel (Terry V.) Williams, our new base commanding officer, launch this survey within 60 days of assuming command.”

Under the guidance of the unit commander, the Family Readiness Officer uses the responses to prepare a summary. It, in turn, is used to create an executable plan of action to influence the delivery of programs and services that enhance the health, welfare and readiness of Marines and their families.

“The assessment is done online and we’ve set it up to be available from August 17 through August 28. Each Marine and their spouse will receive an individual access code,” Walker explained.

Participating in the survey is voluntary and the survey questions for Marines and their spouses are similar, but different.

“The assessment tool is for the command to get the pulse of what’s going on in the unit,” said Julie Wilbanks, trainer, Family Readiness Program, Marine Corps Family Team Building, Marine Corps Community Services.

“It should show us the strengths and weaknesses out there so that MCCS can work with the Family Readiness Officer to address those issues.”

For instance, if enough survey respondents indicate they have financial issues, then financial advising services for families could be increased to address the problem, Wilbanks added.

In order to sort responses to questions such as how many respondents live off-base, or other topics, the data will not appear unless there is a minimum of five respondents who fall into that category.

“This ensures that responses are anonymous,” Wilbanks said.

A letter explaining the assessment tool will be mailed to the homes of the approximately 100 base and SYSCOM-eligible Marines next week and will explain the program, how the information will be used, and provide the access codes necessary for completing the assessment online.

Taking the survey requires approximately 20 minutes.

The inventory contains two sets of questions. One is about family, unit and community relationships. The second set addresses meeting life demands in today’s Marine Corps.  It begins with several demographic questions and makes available open text comments on each question and at the end.

After finishing the UAI, respondents may print out a copy of their responses. They may also consult specific practical strategies for increasing social connections in their lives and for enhancing their personal and family readiness.

Also, they may contact the FRO via e-mail when viewing results to ask questions or to make comments or inquire about information on resources and supports.

“No identifying information is included on the profile and the profile disappears forever once respondents close their web browser,” Wilbanks said.

Marine Corps Logistics Command will conduct a FRAT survey in September and LOGCOM logins will be valid at that time, she added.