To FRG Or Not To FRG

For my civi friends, FRG stands for Family Readiness Group and it is definitely part of the Axis of Evil.  It is meant to act as a go between for the families left at home and the unit.  It is supposed to answer questions, provide comradery, help out in emergencies, and overall be the point of contact if anything happens while the soldiers are gone.  The group meets regularly to provide outside stimulation, conversation, and distribute the lack of information.  All services have something like this, although FRG is an Army term.

I am so happy for those people out there who have found help and friendship in their FRG.  I have heard it is possible.  My FRG is pathetic, annoying, gossipy, and completely useless.  Very few people attend meetings.  It is totally and completely stay-at-home-mom focused.  It is friendship based, so if you aren’t in the “in” crowd, you don’t get phone calls or even notified when the homecoming plane is landing.  I loath FRG.  The mere mention of it makes my skin crawl.

The FRG has levels.  It roughly relates to the level you fall at in the Army rank and unit wise.  So, to make things complicated, you have different level FRG meetings.  They are almost completely volunteer run, the kicker being that as you get up in rank, your spouse is expected to volunteer.  I absolutely detest the Army’s practice of mandatory volunteerism by the way.

Here are my issues:

  • DH is approaching the rank of mandatory volunteerism.  I should probably make some attempt to see how to things run before I’m thrown in the deep end without my arm floaties. I really don’t want to though.
  • I hate how FRG seems to be structured like the officer wives provide this help to enlisted wives.  Why do officer wives seem to be the only one who are required to volunteer?  Don’t we need help to?  And what about being an officer equals a ton of free time to spend planning fundraisers?
  • Mandatory volunteerism does not take into account the volunteer at all.  I work a full-time job.  I can’t make 2 pm teas on a Wednesday.  I really hesitate to commit myself because big things like this can quickly start to overwhelm me when my mental state deteriorates.  Deployments, when FRGs are super active, are (surprise, surprise) mentally rough.  Not a good combo.
  • My issues mean a whole lotta nutin to the Army.

I can hear every counter-argument to my complaints.  Join and try to make it better for everyone else who hates it.  Join and try and make friends.  Blah, blah, blah.  I try and support all the Army’s hooah-ness, but this part just blows.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. loquita
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 21:47:15

    I really like the concept, but I’m like you — it just sets me on edge that just because my husband is an officer that I’m somehow more “indebted” to the unit, such that I am volun-told to lead the family readiness group. BULLSHIT!

    While my husband has said he doesn’t care if I decline something like that, of course I will probably feel guilty for F-ing up his career or something, and cave in.

    He’s at his captains career level school right… we’ll see what kind of shit hits the fan at our next duty station…

    So, all that just to say, I hear ya!! 🙂


  2. laura
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 23:24:42

    Man, that blows. I’m sorry.

    I HATE mandatory volunteerism. I do a lit of it on my own terms, but come on. That is why it it called volunteer…so those who can and want to DO!

    I wish we lived closer, then I could come see you!

    Chin up 🙂


  3. amanda
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 22:41:23

    the frg is suppose to be a good thing but it all depends on the tone that is set by your frg leader. i was the frg leader and was told i HAD to have a co-leader, so i picked a woman with great ideas and experience. i thought she would be perfect for the job and we would get along great. our frg has been struggling for a long time and once i stepped in it became alot better. i am an older spouse who is not about the high school games that some of these wives like to play so that put several wives at ease and they started getting involved. well then my co-leader decided she did not like the title co-leader and started gunning for me. should have known she was just another one of these young faker wives. she began going to our frsa and lying about me and just plain out creating drama. i stepped down because i am not up for that. then she started spreading rumors about me that harm my reputation and as a result of what she has been saying there are several spouses that will not speak to me anymore. i brought this to the attention of our frsa and she has done nothing so i told her the next time i will handle it but it will not be pretty. plus since i stepped down i no longer get any e-mails and have no clue what is going on down range while my husband is deployed. i will never again volunteer for the frg no matter what. i will not fall into that trap again!!


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