JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Joint Base San Antonio members will have the opportunity to submit ideas and provide input on the quality of life issues they want to be addressed during virtual monthly focus group sessions hosted by the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center.
Military service members, including active, Reserve and National Guard, military spouses, family members, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and survivors are invited to participate in the Armed Forces Action Plan Focus Group online from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 27.
The Armed Forces Action Plan, or AFAP, is a year-round program that gives military members who are normally not in the decision-making process a chance to bring ideas, input and concerns on quality of life issues to the attention of senior military leaders for action and resolution.
Dina Castro, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC AFAP coordinator, said the focus group concept gives military community members a chance to have their voices heard on quality of life issues that they care about.
“The goal is to help improve the lives of our military community,” Castro said. “If you have an idea or suggestion and want to tell somebody about it, this is a great place to do that.”
Castro said the focus group will be conducted in a Zoom meeting format in which participants present their ideas and concerns that are then discussed by the group.
“We start out brainstorming possible issues,” Castro said. “Then we have some discussion, followed by a ranking of the issues that we feel are most important to be raised to leadership.”
The Jan. 27 AFAP Focus Group will cover issues of relocation and processing affecting active-duty members and their families and what can be done to make transitions smoother from one duty station to another.
The virtual Zoom AFAP focus groups will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Each focus group will have a designated quality of life issue or topic that will be covered.
Castro said the ideas and concerns brought by military community members at the focus groups will be presented to an executive steering committee led by Col. Shane Cuellar, 502nd Force Support Group commander. The committee meets on a quarterly basis.
A quality of life issue or concern which is presented to senior military or JBSA leadership follows a process for it to get resolved. First, a subject matter expert at JBSA writes an information paper on it. Second, once the executive steering committee gets the information, the committee will discuss the issue and make a recommendation or move it through the JBSA chain of command, who will deal with the issue on a local level.
Started in 1983, the AFAP program has led to hundreds of legislative, regulatory and policy changes concerning over 600 issues that came out of forums throughout the military. Changes that have come about through AFAP include the distribution of Montgomery GI Bill benefits to dependents, medical entitlements for college-age dependents and increasing the amount of life insurance for service members from $50,000 to $400,000 and the elimination of Social Security numbers from ID cards.
To register to participate in a virtual AFAP Focus Group, contact the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC at 210-221-2705 or email@example.com.
Information on upcoming AFAP Focus Group sessions is at https://www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Military-Family-Readiness/ in the Calendar of Events booklet, or by calling 210-221-2705.
JBSA members can also submit a quality of life issue or concern online at https://www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Military-Family-Readiness/Armed-Forces-Action-Plan/. Ideas and suggestions can also be submitted in writing and placed in the wooden suggestion boxes located at all three JBSA M&FRCs.