Do you want to make the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Army a better place to work and live? Make a suggestion through the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) program.
AFAP is input from the people of the Army to Army leadership. It's a process that allows Soldiers, Department of the Army (DA) civilians, retirees and family members to say what's working and what isn't – and what they think will fix it. It alerts commanders and Army leaders to areas of concern that need their attention and it gives them the opportunity to quickly put plans into place to work toward resolving the issues.
The process really does work. Since the 1980s, when AFAP was instituted, 691 issues identified in the AFAP process have driven 128 legislative changes, 179 Department of Defense or Army policy and regulatory changes, and 200 improved programs and services. Through annual conferences and forums, delegates (military, civilian, family members and retirees) review various issues and recommend the ones they feel are most important for action by commanders and leaders.
The process also works for DA civilians as well. A few years ago, a Corps employee submitted an issue. At the time, if a DA civilian was killed in a military contingency operation, the law required certain beneficiaries to receive the death gratuity. The civilian could not choose to give 100 percent of the death gratuity to whomever he or she wished, whereas Soldiers’ beneficiaries were authorized to receive 100 percent of the death gratuity regardless of their relationship to the Soldier. The Corps employee did not think this was fair.
This issue could not be resolved at the USACE level, so it was submitted to DA for consideration, where it was prioritized and worked by action officers. Resolution required a change in the law.
On Dec. 31, 2011, the president signed the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which “authorizes civilian employees to designate anyone they choose to receive the entire death gratuity if the employee dies of injuries incurred in connection with service with an armed force in a contingency operation.”
Issues do not always have to go all the way to DA to be resolved. Commanders at all levels of USACE are reviewing and, as appropriate, resolving issues at their level.
USACE and Army leaders want to hear from you and your family members. For more information on AFAP or to submit an issue, visit https://www.myarmyonesource.com/FamilyProgramsandServices/FamilyPrograms/ArmyFamilyActionPlan/Default.aspx or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed issue forms must be sent to email@example.com by not later than May 24, 2013.