News: Commandant’s wife visits with FROs, spouses
Story by Sgt. Rebekka Heite
Bonnie Amos, the wife of Gen. James Amos, 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, discussed ways to optimize the Unit, Personal and Family Readiness Program with III Marine Expeditionary Force spouses and the family readiness officers from units on Okinawa at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster June 13.
“My goal today is to listen,” said Amos in her opening speech. “I want to hear what keeps you coming to work and what keeps you up at night, what gives you heartburn. I want to find a way ahead.”
The first topic discussed was the family care plan required of single Marines with children and dual military couples with children as directed by Department of Defense Instruction 1342.19.
The biggest issue with the family care plan is getting Marines to fill it out, said Denise Loftesnes, III MEF FRO.
“This should fall more on the greenside and not the FRO,” she added, indicating that it is the Marines’ responsibility to develop their family care plans.
The family care plan is especially important here since military families have to consider that a temporary family member caregiver may not be immediately available, Amos said.
“Families within the unit have to help,” she said.
Another topic discussed was the concern that Marine Corps Administrative Messages and Marine Corps Orders do not properly address those overseas with family.
Amos herself pointed out that the families and the Marines here have a unique situation.
The attendees also discussed Marines occasionally coming to the island then leaving the island shortly thereafter on an exercise, leaving the spouse to get the family settled.
The new website EMarine could be used to help with these issues, said Amos.
Marines and their families can use the new site to learn more about housing requirements and other permanent change of station challenges. EMarine is scheduled to be up and running for III MEF Aug. 1.
“(Moving) is difficult at all ages (and ranks),” said Amos. “When we moved to Naples, we arrived on Sunday, received our household goods on Monday, and he left on Friday.”
Her sponsor was a critical part of her transition, she said.
As the 90-minute long breakfast wrapped up, Amos shared a piece of advice: “People will forget what you said, they’ll even forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”