Army survey now more Reservist-friendly
When Army leaders created a survey to get soldiers’ take on how well the service was addressing quality-of-life issues, reservists and National Guard members who serve side by side with active-duty troops probably felt a little left out.
The monthlong Army Family Covenant survey, which began Aug. 15, was sent to 300,000 soldiers, both active-duty and reservists.
But, Lt. Col. Charles Sherman, a reservist serving in Baghdad, said he was immediately put off by the questionnaire.
"I started taking it and discovered they don’t care what I have to say," said Sherman, of the 358th Civil Affairs Brigade at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif.
The first two questions ask about the location of his garrison, he said, and Army reservists are not assigned to garrisons, so those questions don’t apply. Sherman said the survey made him feel like he was not part of the same Army as active-duty soldiers, even though he was serving in Kuwait and getting ready to head to Iraq when he received it.
The survey wasn’t geared toward Army reservists, according to Kevin Crouch, acting public affairs officer for the Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command. However, the survey has since been changed.
"Once we realized that was a sticking issue with reservists, we went ahead and changed it," Crouch said. "Anyone now can take that survey."
The Family Covenant is a promise made by Army leaders to improve quality of life in the service by increasing accessibility and quality of health care; improving soldier and family housing; addressing schools, youth services and child care; and expanding education and employment opportunities for family members.
Department of Defense civilians and soldiers’ family members can also take the survey, which can be found online at: www.armymwr.com/fmwrc/AFC/survey.htm.