After more than 918,000 deployments over the last 15 years, Service members and families have and continue to endure an unpredictable and demanding operational tempo, dangerous combat zones with exposure to traumatic events and injuries, as well as short time periods between deployments. For some military families, deployments have impacted Service members’ relationships with their children and families, causing a variety of reintegration difficulties.

These challenges, including many others not listed, are well known by military and family readiness programs supporting National Guard and Reserve Service members and their loved ones.

“Family readiness programs are the backbone of support to our military community,” said Stacey Barnes, director of Service Member and Family Readiness. “They provide quality of life services to ensure our Guard and Reserve families receive needed care and resources during every stage of their military journey.”

“Accreditation reflects a national standard of excellence or ‘gold standard’ while honoring the design and administration of unique military programs,” said Barnes. “The commitment to excellence the Guard and Reserve has made to ensure military families, regardless of service affiliation, receive the best service possible speaks volumes of their commitment to military families.”

The accreditation standards were developed by a third party national accrediting agency in coordination with the Department of Defense and military Services. Together they review family readiness sites to measure and validate the effectiveness of family readiness programs.

The accreditation process covers a variety of service areas, including administrative practices, literature reviews, and consultations with a diverse group of qualified civilian and military professionals. Site visits are conducted to confirm implementation of standards and compare findings against standardized criteria developed through evidence-based practices.

The Guard and Reserve military and family readiness programs participating in national accreditation receive greater coverage across communities, states, and regions – beyond the local installation. For example, nationally accredited programs now span throughout Kansas, Texas, and Indiana – to only name a few.

To date, 23 National Guard and Army Reserve programs are accredited, while 15 are awaiting results, and 21 are in pursuit of accreditation.

“Each of these programs that complete accreditation demonstrate their credibility, integrity, and achievement,” said Barnes. “Achieving national accreditation is not an easy task and requires a lot of hard work by leadership and service providers; they are demonstrating their commitment in supporting strong military families.”