33rd Leads the Way
It is very refreshing to see that kind of focus from higher command. This is a program, if done correctly will be a tremendous asset to the families of deployed soldiers (and the 33rd is taking almost a third of the state with them) as well as an asset to the soldiers themselves.
When I went with the 33rd to Afghanistan (with CSM Bones and Major John) it was just the HHC of an ASG and it wasn't even used that way. On top of that there was no, none, zip, zero… support for the families. We had enough trouble trying to figure out what our jobs were and how we were going to do them with too few people. We didn't need the stress of worrying about our families back home.
The last thing a soldier needs to worry about when they're getting shot at is the leaky faucet at home (believe me, I've tried).
Now they have Family Assistance Center Representatives around the state to provide support and guidance to the families, including making a monthly phone call to a family member designated by each soldier. The 33rd has one better than that with the Family Readiness Support Assistant who helps the Family Readiness Groups of each individual Company.
Several Company Commanders even attended the training this weekend. Many of them attended with their FRGs or at least their FRG Leaders.