Family readiness support assistants are civilian employees of the armed forces who connect military families to military and civilian resources that offer services and assistance while soldiers are deployed. This job requires a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as at least 1 year of relevant office experience. Additionally, candidates must hold U.S. citizenship, and be able to type at least 40 words per minute. This job might appeal to an individual with interests in social/human service, office administration, and communication.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Other Requirements||1 year relevant office experience, U.S. citizenship, ability to type at least 40 words per minute|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||22% (social and human service assistants)|
|Median Salary (2013)*||$29,230 annually (social and human service assistants)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
As a civilian employee, a Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA) provides logistical and administrative assistance to the Family Readiness Group (FRG), a unit-based program affiliated with the U.S. Army, National Guard, or Reserves. Similar positions exist in other military branches; for example, a Family Readiness Officer is the equivalent for the Marines and Navy. In the Air Force, they are known as Caring for People Coordinators.
FRSAs intermediate between soldiers and their families, the FRG, the unit commander, and community agencies in preparation for deployments. They continue to provide assistance and support to families and soldiers during deployments, in addition to helping families adjust to post-deployment challenges.
The position involves referring military families to on-base and community resources that give assistance during deployments. Other duties include developing and maintaining FRG rosters, preparing online and print communications, updating commanders and FRG leaders, scheduling training, keeping volunteer records,and coordinating unit activities. They may attend FRG meetings as needed. An FRSA also upholds Operations Security (OPSEC) by properly storing or destroying classified records.
Additionally, FRSAs keep soldiers and their families updated on news relevant to deployments or training. They might plan meetings and workshops, which could require reserving meeting facilities, arranging childcare, and booking speakers. They may also promote health and education programs.
An April 2011 search of available positions on USA Jobs showed that the primary requirement for becoming an FRSA is U.S. citizenship (www.usajobs.gov). Candidates may be required to pass a drug test, as well as acquire and maintain a security clearance. They must have basic office skills, like using standard office equipment and typing at least 40 words per minute. Applicants typically need to have at least one year of relevant experience, which may include clerical work or previous experience in FRG office administration. In some cases, education may substitute for experience.
FRSAs may have to complete online or in-class training upon employment. These training classes cover such topics as family team building, volunteer management, OPSEC, community services, legal affairs, and deployment cycles.
Career Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary among social and human service assistants, including family readiness support assistants, was $29,230 as of May 2013. Employment opportunities for all assistants in these fields were expected to increase 22% from 2012-2022, which is faster than the national average for all job sectors.