Skip Navigation
Thu Oct 30, 2014
 
Army OneSource
Army OneSource
Army OneSource
Commander's Page Online Training
Volunteer Tools ARMYBook
My AOS Page Services Locator

Question & Answer Listing

Select a Question & Answer entry to see a list of service providers.

Deployment Communications -- Question & Answer Listing  
Viewing 1-10 of 14 Knowledge Entries
Page 1 of 2 Next 4 Knowledge Entries >
Go to page:  
Question / Answer

Question:
How can I contact my Soldier when he or she is deployed?

Answer:
Soldiers usually have access to the Internet during deployments (even when deployed to combat zones) and often have access to a telephone although your deployed Soldier would have to do the calling. There are several free email services you can use, and access to computer resources is usually available for family members on military installations. Check with your local Army Community Service (ACS), Family Readiness or Assistance Centers, or your local libraries for further assistance. The Department of the Army recommends using Army Knowledge Online (AKO) email for communicating with your Soldier as it provides a secure interface. All Soldiers (to include Reserve Component Soldiers) are authorized AKO accounts and family members/friends of full-account holders can obtain Guest Accounts. The Army Postal System (APO) manages the delivery of mail to and from Soldiers overseas and when deployed. So, letters and care packages are always another option. Note that there are often restrictions on the type of items that can be sent to Soldiers in certain parts of the world.

Question:
How can my spouse or family contact me in the event of an emergency when I am deployed?

Answer:
In the event of an emergency, the best way for a spouse or family member to contact the deployed Soldier is to call the local American Red Cross chapter. They have procedures in place to relay emergency messages to deployed Soldiers. If the emergency is serious enough to warrant the Soldier to request emergency leave (e.g., death of an immediate family member), the Soldier will generally need to have the Red Cross message to verify the information prior to his/her leave being approved. The Rear Detachment Commander can assist with this process as well.

Question:
How do I contact the unit Family Readiness Group (FRG) Leader?

Answer:
Your sponsor or a representative from your sponsor's unit (such as the Rear Detachment Commander, if the unit is deployed) should be able to tell you who your FRG Leader is. You should be provided with your FRG Leader's telephone number and/or email address. Oftentimes, there are alternate representatives for you to call within your FRG. The Deployment Readiness Coordinator at your local Army Community Service (ACS) office may also have a list of FRG leaders and contact information.

Question:
How do you create a telephone tree?

Answer:
The purpose of a telephone tree is to facilitate communication among members of a group. Rather than have one person call all members of a group to relay information, the leader (or top of the telephone tree) calls several specific members with the message and they, in turn, pass it on to the next person in their chain. In a company-level Family Readiness Group (FRG), for example, the telephone tree may be set up such that the FRG leader would call designated point of contacts (POCs) for each of the company’s platoons. The POC for each of the platoons would contact the next person in their chain, who calls the next person, and so on. In order to ensure that the message reaches all members of the group, it is helpful for the last person in the chain to call the first person in the chain to inform them that the list has been completed. In this example, the last person in the chain at the platoon-level would call the platoon POC. Each of the platoon POCs would then call the FRG leader. This is a very effective way to pass information on to everyone in the group as quickly as possible.

Question:
If my sponsor is deployed and I plan on visiting my family while he/she is away, should Iet anyone at my sponsor's unit know about my travel plans?

Answer:
Family members should notify the Rear Detachment Commander, the Family Readiness Group (FRG) representative and/or emergency contact person of any travel plans and a contact number in case of an emergency.

Question:
What are some ways that spouses and other family members can communicate with deployed Soldiers?

Answer:
Years ago, letters were the most popular way to communicate with Soldiers in the field – along with the occasional phone call. Nowadays, email is most often used. Before a Soldier deploys, be sure that he/she (and those with whom he/she wishes to correspond) has or establishes an email account. There are many free email services available, to include Army Knowledge Online (AKO). All Soldiers are authorized an email account on AKO and can sponsor spouses, family members and other individuals for a guest account. AKO is secure and accessible from any Internet connection. The Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program typically provides trailers or other structures to house computers for Soldiers to use on deployments. Although there are time limitations and other restrictions, most deployed Soldiers will have some access to the Internet. Recognize that this is a privilege and may not always be available, particularly for those Soldiers who are undergoing movements during their deployment or in times of combat operations. Do not misinterpret this as the Soldier’s lack of desire to respond. Letters and care packages are also good ways to communicate with your deployed Soldier. While they are not always as timely as email, the written word provides a more personal touch and a letter is something a Soldier can hang on to and reread as often as she/he desires. Children’s drawings and photographs also provide a “touch of home” to the deployed mom or dad. Be sure to obtain the Soldier’s mailing address prior to his/her deployment, as it will be different from his/her home station address. Be aware of any mailing restrictions that may be in effect where the Soldier is deployed. Phone calls are always welcomed, but it is the Soldier who generally must make the call unless the deployment is local and the Soldier has access to a phone (e.g., at a desk or available on a cell phone). MWR trailers are also set up with phones during deployments to allow Soldiers to call home using calling cards and/or to make free morale calls via a military Defense Switched Network (DSN) line. Phone cards are generally available for purchase via the Army Air Force Exchange System (AAFES) facilities, but Soldiers may want to consider purchasing one before they deploy.

Question:
What can I do to alleviate stress associated with reunions once my Soldier returns from his/her deployment?

Answer:
Deployments, and reunions following a deplolyment, can be very stressful on families but there are things you can do prior to your Soldier's return and even after his/her return to alleviate some of this stress. Take advantage of any reunion classes that are offered (if any) in your local military community prior to your Soldier's return. Your Soldier will have the opportunity to participate in them as well. They can provide you with great tips for having a successful reunion and can also help you and your spouse develop realistic expectations for the reunion period. Additionally, recognize that you both may have changed/grown during your time apart so expect some adjustments to occur in your family life. Try to maintain some normalcy in your life and communicate with each other. There are many resources you can turn to in your military and civilian community such as your chaplain and family health provider.

Question:
What emergency contact numbers should I be aware of?

Answer:
The most obvious emergency contact numbers to have readily available are the local police, fire, ambulance, and perhaps the local hospital emergency room numbers. These numbers are accessible in most community phone books. Your local Army Community Service (ACS) can also provide them for you. In CONUS, "911" is the number to call for true emergencies. Find out what the equivalent emergency number is (if any) if you live overseas. Several other numbers that may be helpful to have on hand in the event of an emergency are: your Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader or an FRG contact, your Soldier's unit number (or Rear Detachment Commander’s number, if your Soldier is deployed), the number(s) for a close friend or relative - which could be very useful in the event that you become incapacitated and someone else needs to contact a friend or family member on your behalf.

Question:
What is the proper telephone etiquette for partipating in a telephone tree (e.g., as in a Family Readiness Group).

Answer:
A telephone tree is an efficient way to distribute information to members of a group. They are especially useful to Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) as it can be used to quickly pass on unit updates, FRG meeting/event schedules, or emergency information. When calling individuals on your phone tree roster, it is always good etiquette to ask if responder is free to talk. If not, ask when would be a good time to call back and follow up as needed. When passing information on using a telephone tree, it is best to keep the conversation brief to keep the message moving forward. If the person you call is unreceptive or unable to participate, don’t take it personally. Not everyone will want to participate in FRG activities. Move on to the next person on your list and continue until everyone has been notified. One of the most useful tips for effective communication via a telephone tree is for individuals to write down the information to be passed on to other individuals. The person being told the information should read back what he/she wrote to the caller to make sure the facts have been recorded correctly and he/she should ask the person he/she calls to write the facts down and read them back before ending the call. This helps to ensure that information is being transmitted correctly. Also, it is a good idea for the last person called to call the first person on his/her segment of the tree (or the FRG leader) to let him/her know that the list has been completed. Learn more about telephone tree etiquette from the Army Family Readiness Group Leader Handbook, as well as the other resources listed.

Question:
What kind of communication methods should I use to stay in contact with Family Readiness Group (FRG) members?

Answer:
Good communication is one of the most important ingredients of an effective Family Readiness Group (FRG). As an FRG leader, committee chairperson, or Phone Tree Point of Contact person, you will find yourself using several different communication methods. Phone calls and personal visits may be the most effective way to greet newcomers whereas sending news updates might be more effectively handled through email distributions. Communicating information at meetings allows for members to interact and ask questions. Many FRGs create their own websites to display general information about the group, unit, and/or to display photos from their events. Mailing flyers or official newsletters is another effective means for communicating with your FRG. Consult the Army Family Readiness Group Leader’s Handbook for more information on how to communicate with FRG members as well as to learn rules and regulations that apply (such as the Privacy Act; security issues in terms of what kind of information can be included in your newsletter or on a website, etc.).
Viewing 1-10 of 14 Knowledge Entries
Page 1 of 2 Next 4 Knowledge Entries >
Go to page:  

Full Website
This site may not be optimized
for a mobile browsing experience.
OK
Please don't show me this again: