FRG question — The Bump
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FRG question

How much trust do you put in what the FRG tells you?  DH has always told me to take it with a grain of salt, but I thought that might be from having a so-so one last deployment (we were engaged so I didn't deal with them, MIL was the contact). 

FRG called last night.  They said the commander had called and asked them to pass along the message that the soldiers had been given a mission and knew where they were going (Long story short, the state pushed too hard for the deployment and they have no mission, so no idea where they are going).  They asked if my soldier had already contacted me.  I told them he's called earlier but told me nothing specific.  (She said that they'd just got the call, so don't think he wasn't telling you things.  I told her I figured when he doesn't give specifics its because I can't.  She was surprised I knew that:/).  Anyway, she proceeded to tell me that they were being split into 3 places, but that each soldier would have to tell their family specifically because they didn't have a list (red flag?).  I called DH.  He was LIVID (and apperently so was every other person in the unit).  They have NO CLUE where they are going.  A bunch of stuff is happening, but no one knows anything.  He proceeded to cuss out the FRG and tell me to never listen to a thing they say again. 

So, is he right?  Should I take their words with a grain of salt?  Or maybe they'll learn and get things together?  I guess I'm also worried if they are giving info out before the soldiers know, are they possibly risking OP-SEC?

ETA: I'm not trying to question DH, I'm just wondering if this is specific to the units he's been with or a universal problem.

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Re: FRG question

  • If, in fact, the FRG did get "orders" from the commander to put out that information, they were only doing what was told.  Quite often during our last deployment, our Rear-D commander told us to put out information that, while it didn't violate OPSEC, we were irritated that we had to make calls because it was vague and only opened things up to more questions (if we had just waited, we would have been able to give more information). 

     

    I think FRG's get a bad rap - YES, there are some out there that are terrible but I think it's up to the spouse to attend the meetings, get to know people and get a feel for the FRG, not just listen to what people tell you or what your husband tells you.  I've been an FRG leaders twice and always been involved if not a leader and have been a part of some wonderful FRG's!  The most recent, when I took over as leader, there had been quite a bit of drama in the past and due to word of mouth, nobody would participate or even take my calls because of what they had heard through the grapevine....about the PREVIOUS leader/volunteers.  I've had a terrible time getting this FRG up and running again and getting people to look past all of the stuff that happened in the past. 

     

    If you have specific questions about the most recent call you got, you should have access to an FRSA (Family Readiness Support Assistant) who you can verify the information with or voice your concerns.  I'm not saying to completely ignore your husband, but I do think it's only fair to give the FRG a chance (attend meetings, meet your leader, get involved yourself if they need help!) before throwing in the towel.

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  • imageJENandJEH:

    If, in fact, the FRG did get "orders" from the commander to put out that information, they were only doing what was told.  Quite often during our last deployment, our Rear-D commander told us to put out information that, while it didn't violate OPSEC, we were irritated that we had to make calls because it was vague and only opened things up to more questions (if we had just waited, we would have been able to give more information). 

     

    I think FRG's get a bad rap - YES, there are some out there that are terrible but I think it's up to the spouse to attend the meetings, get to know people and get a feel for the FRG, not just listen to what people tell you or what your husband tells you.  I've been an FRG leaders twice and always been involved if not a leader and have been a part of some wonderful FRG's!  The most recent, when I took over as leader, there had been quite a bit of drama in the past and due to word of mouth, nobody would participate or even take my calls because of what they had heard through the grapevine....about the PREVIOUS leader/volunteers.  I've had a terrible time getting this FRG up and running again and getting people to look past all of the stuff that happened in the past. 

     

    If you have specific questions about the most recent call you got, you should have access to an FRSA (Family Readiness Support Assistant) who you can verify the information with or voice your concerns.  I'm not saying to completely ignore your husband, but I do think it's only fair to give the FRG a chance (attend meetings, meet your leader, get involved yourself if they need help!) before throwing in the towel.

    Oh, how I wish I could attend meetings.  I live 3 hours away from the unit.  Traveling 6 hours for a 1-2 hour meeting with a 5 month old just isn't possible.  (ETA: I found the info on FRSA) I swear, every time I think I've got a handle on things, something else comes up.  I feel like a newbie all over again.

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  • I think each battalion (Army) has a FRSA - usually a civilian who is the liason between the green suiter side and the family side of things. Check your newsletter for FRSA contact information (ours is usually on the last page at the bottom).  You can always get in contact with your FRG leader and ask her.  Some units could possibly have a military servicemember as the FRSA but most of the time, I believe they try to hire a civilian so that families are more comfortable interacting with them. 

     

    Even if you can't attend meetings, most FRG leaders are willing to accept any help they can get (depending on if the unit allows out of towners to participate).  I know that I have had POCs (point of contacts - most likely who contacted you) who were not local.  Without POCs, it is up to me to make upwards of 90 calls when I need to get important information out to family members.  If your FRG leader was not the one who contacted you, you could always call her to verify the confusing information you were given.  Sometimes, as info is passed from the commander to the FRG leader, FRG leader to the POC, POC to the family member, things get jumbled. 

  • Thanks for your help.  I don't want to sound like I'm bashing all FRGs, I have nothing against them and and trying to find out what's going on and why they would give out false info.  I will try to get in contact with the leader and see if there was anything I can do to help. 
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  • The FRG is not supposed to give out information unless they are told to do so by the commander.

    With that said, FRGs are made up of people.  There is no way to predict if a person or people are going to do what they should. So, you can trust them as much as you can trust any other person/people that you don't know anything about.

     If you have questions about your FRG, certainly seek out and call your FRSA.

     Hope this helps.

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  • Another thought is that the FRG does have accurate information, but your husband wasn't intending to tell you because he didn't want to worry you.
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  • imageSoldiersGreenBean:
    Another thought is that the FRG does have accurate information, but your husband wasn't intending to tell you because he didn't want to worry you.

    Possible, but highly unlikely.  We've been waiting for MONTHS to know where he is getting sent.  I don't think he'd keep that from me.  If he was already overseas and it was about something bad, then I could see him keeping quiet. 

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  • I know when my DH was home I often had information through the FRG days if not weeks before it trickled down to him so it's very possible they received info before he did. Unfortunately they are only able to give out certain info and usually the key callers aren't given specific information like a list of names saying who is going where. We're commonly given a script and asked to stick with that and aren't given the information to be able to answer any additional questions. Like everything else military you just have to piece it together and see what happens.
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