Army Family Team Building celebrates 20 years of contributing to the knowledge, resilience and self-reliance of military Families
Contributing Author: Leba Hirsh, Fort Bliss AFTB Program Manager
In the post World War II era the philosophy was ‘the Army takes care of its own,’ but in 1992 senior leaders and spouses saw a need to educate Family members as a result of lessons learned following the Gulf War.
Army Family Team Building (AFTB) is a Family training and readiness program that provides participants with a better understanding of Army culture, as well as the skills and resources needed to become resilient, self-sufficient and self-reliant members of the military community.
On December 16, 1994, the AFTB program policy letter was jointly signed by General Gordon R. Sullivan, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Sergeant Major of the Army Richard A. Kidd, designating AFTB as an official Army program. At a Pentagon ceremony in 1998 celebrating the achievements of the AFTB program, General Dennis J. Reimer, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Sergeant Major of the Army Richard E. Hall proclaimed December 16th “Army Family Team Building Day.”
In order to remain relevant in today’s changing Army and to keep the AFTB program up-to-date with the needs of Family members, the program undergoes periodic reviews and updates. The most recent update was in 2013. While remaining true to the roots of AFTB (knowledge, personal growth, leadership), it addressed some of the changes seen in the military and civilian communities.
Some things never change. Military Families have always helped each other succeed. Family preparedness, self-reliance and resilience continue to be important to mission readiness. These key competencies help increase the Soldier’s confidence that their Family can manage their lives successfully regardless of the mission, which in turn helps the Soldier focus on that mission. Moreover, AFTB continues to empower individuals to maximize their personal growth and professional development through specialized training, as well as transform the Army community into a resilient and strong foundation meeting today’s mission.
AFTB is not limited to the boundaries of the Active Army. It embraces all the components of America's Army - the active duty Soldier, the United States Army Reserves, the United States Army National Guard Department of Army Civilians and Family members.
In the philosophy of ‘the Army teaches its own to take care of themselves,’ AFTB helps to provide a consistent base of knowledge while promoting growth and successful military Families.
To learn more about AFTB or to sign up for classes, visit your local Army Community Service AFTB program. Or access the 24/7 online training today.