Let your voice be heard with AFAP

P1_AFAPLogoACS accepting submissions for local conference

Have you ever wanted to change the world? Well, now is your chance to do just that — or at least your corner of the world.
Army Community Service is accepting community issues and concerns for the upcoming Army Family Action Plan conference, here, Oct. 13 and 14.

AFAP is a grassroots program that was created more than 30 years ago by Army spouses with the intent of bringing quality-of-life issues to leadership for action. If you think that your ideas won’t be heard; think again. Every issue brought forth is addressed, said ACS’s Mary Cheney, who is in charge of the conference here. No submissions are discarded, she said. “When issues are submitted, there has to be some kind of resolution.”

Resolution can be achieved in a variety of ways. It may mean forwarding an issue to the appropriate place, if it does not fall under the AFAP process, or it can be addressed on the spot. “Those issues that we can resolve immediately, we send through the ICE system if it can be a quick fix,” Cheney said.

At the installation level, delegates are chosen to participate in the conference and represent a cross-section of demographics from the installation to include Soldiers, spouses and civilians, Cheney said.

At the conference the delegates are assigned to diverse work groups and given issues to prioritize. Topics vary but include quality of life issues and entitlements. If an issue is not prioritized, then that must be substantiated.

Finally, issues are fine-tuned so that as it moves forward in the process, it is clear what is being requested, she said.
Two local issues that have recently been resolved through the AFAP process at the local level are the addition of crosswalks between the soccer fields on Hainerberg and the addition of a dog park, also on Hainerberg.

Requests that cannot be addressed locally are funneled to U.S. Army Europe and from there they are forwarded to the General Officers Steering Committee, chaired by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, for resolution. Typically a handful of issues from each garrison are forwarded to the GOSC, which reviews the issues twice a year.

“It’s one of the most democratic processes that the Army has,” Cheney said. “It comes from the local level.”

How to Submit

Look for submission boxes soon at ACS and around the community, or to fill out the form online at http://wiesbaden.armymwr.com/europe/wiesbaden/wiesbaden-events/army-family-action-plan?eID=518269

How to participate

AFAP focus groups will begin meeting in August and September. Call civ (0611) 143-548-9201 to sign up to participate. The meeting schedule for the following demographics are:

Career Soldiers – Aug. 22, 4 p.m.

Single Soldiers
Focus Group One – Aug. 23, 10 a.m.
Focus Group Two – Aug. 23, 6 p.m.

1st Term Soldiers – Aug. 30, 1 p.m.
Mid-Career Soldiers – Aug. 30, 3 p.m.
Senior Spouses – Sept. 7, 10 a.m.
Civilian Employees – Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.