Helping agencies: Navy Fleet and Family Readiness

Magnifying glass with words "we are here to help."
Magnifying glass with words "we are here to help."

Helping agencies: Navy Fleet and Family Readiness

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Trying to maintain some semblance of a work-life balance as a sailor or dependent in the Navy can be trying even for the most seasoned active-duty member. With frequent moves, months at sea and deployments, it can be hard to find the right place to go for help adjusting to the demands of military life. The Navy Fleet and Family Readiness (FFR) centers are a fantastic place to start.

What is FFR?

FFR is the overarching activity providing services and assistance to sailors and their families. Beneath the FFR is Fleet Readiness, Family Readiness, Navy Housing, Support Services Center and the Navy Wounded Warrior—Safe Harbor projects. Morale, Welfare and Recreation, better known as MWR, and the Emergency Response programs also fall within the realm of FFR. Service members can find a vast array of resources at their disposal to help address the needs and challenges that life in the Navy can present.

What specific programs are offered?

In addition to MWR entertainment and activities, FFR offers workshops and classes for wellness and fitness, financial independence, deployment readiness, new spouse information and so much more. One unique program to FFR is the Navy Wounded Warrior—Safe Harbor. Based out of Washington, D.C., this program assists wounded, injured or ill sailors (and Coast Guardsmen) in coordinating long-term care and recovery. While the primary goal is to help get the affected military member fit for return to duty, the program also helps with transition and reintegration into local communities if a return to duty is not possible.

What else do they offer?

The fleet readiness section assists deployed sailors, including preparation and reunification workshops. They also offer a variety of intramural sports and nutrition classes. If you’re not sure how to vote from your new duty station, the Navy Voting Assistance Program can help. Other MWR services such as auto skills classes, dining options and child and youth activities are also offered.

The family readiness area is an excellent resource for spouses and dependents. Offering courses for new Navy spouses and navigating through the Navy lifestyle are great options for those who are unfamiliar or uneasy with military life. Fleet and Family Support Programs (FFSPs) can also help with relocation and transition assistance, employment and volunteer opportunities and wading through the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). Ombudspersons, family advocacy and counseling are also available with FFSP.

Navy life can often feel overwhelming and frustrating. When the work-life balance begins to feel unbalanced, the specialists within FFR can help get you back on the right track. With more than 80 centers on Navy installations worldwide, finding assistance is closer than you realize. For more information, visit www.cnic.navy.mil.

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