ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Family Readiness Program serves a vital role in ensuring Marines and families across the Reserve are prepared to answer the Nation’s call. The program provides resource information and training in addition to support services to enhance a Marine's personal and family readiness so that he or she can remain fully focused on the mission.
In 2017, the Combat Logistics Battalion-451, Combat Logistics Regiment-45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Family Readiness Program supported more than 400 Marines and their families who deployed in six operations for worldwide contingencies as individual augments and during several overseas annual training exercises.
The battalion was awarded for their outstanding Family Readiness Program when on March 23, 2018, CLB-451 received the 2017 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes in Arlington, Virginia.
Since the introduction of the Family Readiness Program in 2008, each year the Department of Defense honors the top unit in each Reserve component for outstanding programs that support unit missions and family readiness.
“You know, in my eyes, I don't know what we've done outside of what an ordinary unit would do to get this award,” said Sgt. Maj. Christopher Reynoso, the CLB-451 Inspector-Instructor sergeant major and uniformed Family Readiness Officer. “I like to think we take care of the Marines being spread out across nine different states and 12 sites, just like the all the other units. It's a unique challenge to be able to pull all the families together and keep them informed.”
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, CLB-451 consists of 12 sites, comprised of over 1,500 Marines and sailors and more than 1,900 family members. Each site is supported with a trained FRO, as well as volunteers.
“This job takes dedication,” Reynoso said. “It helps to actually be a family member. This brings that dedication and understanding of what that unit's mission is and what the family means to the over-all mission. There's the saying 'happy wife, happy life.' Well, it goes that way for all relationships. As long as you have a happy family, it makes that Marine or sailor that much better on their exercise or deployment.”
As part of their efforts, CLB-451 FROs conduct regular command family events to help strengthen connections between families and the Marine Corps and boost morale. These get-togethers usually include food, music, entertainment, door prizes and activities for adults and children.
The battalion plans to broaden the scope of their volunteer program so family members will be able to form a committee to get together to help plan and establish events so families feel more involved in the every-day processes, especially as it pertains to deployments and overseas exercises.
“We provide so many different opportunities for families of our service members,” said Shawn Holland, the Marine Forces Reserve FRO. “From an event held last year in California, to the plans we have this year, our biggest priority is making sure our active and Reserve service members, as well as their families, are being taken care of.”