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Focus groups allow military spouses platform for concerns

Three women sit in chairs and write on sticky notes.

Key spouses write down their concerns affecting their spouse re-enlisting during Team Little Rock’s first Focus Group June 5, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The feedback from the groups will be channeled up to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to help increase retention across the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

A man wearing the Airman Battle Uniform stands in front of a projected image

Col. Christopher Lambert, 19th Airlift Wing vice commander, thanks key spouses for participating in Team Little Rock’s first Focus Group June 5, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Key spouses discussed the difficulties they’ve faced as a service member’s spouse and concerns regarding re-enlistment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Leadership is putting more emphasis on spouses and their contributions to execute the mission. In line with the secretary of the Air Force’s vision to enhance this partnership, Team Little Rock is hosting focus groups to gain insight into spouses’ needs and capabilities.

Spouse focus groups are a base-wide event where spouses get to know each other, ask concerning questions to base leadership and bring awareness to issues regarding their spouse re-enlisting.

“Being able to have a voice and being part of the change helps spouses feel more part of the Air Force community, “said Kori Humble, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant.

Base leadership opens each focus group by expressing the importance of the feedback from military spouses.

“Please let me emphasize how important your role is to your respective squadron commanders,” said Col. Christopher Lambert, 19th Airlift Wing vice commander. “Your efforts, much like your spouses, are vitally important to the mission success of Little Rock Air Force Base as we focus on developing and retaining Airmen and their families. Thank you for selflessly dedicating your own time to making our Black Knight team better!”

 

The session also includes a slide-show presentation with discussion topics as the top five topics families struggle with throughout their military career: relocation, family separation, spouse employment, work and life balance and military child education.

The spouses will then break-up into smaller groups and discuss the broadened topics in more detail in order to create bullet points to channel up to leadership within the Air Force.

The conversations and questions are forwarded to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to help increase retention across the Air Force.

Updates on the status of the issues addressed in the focus groups will be briefed to the community over the next few months. For more information on future focus groups, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at (501) 987-2667.

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