Families are a cornerstone of Navy readiness and strength

In October 2017, the CNO released The Family Framework, version 1.  This document represents our Navy’s commitment to our families and reinforces the essential nature of strong Navy families and their role in establishing and maintaining a strong Fleet.  This is version one, because the CNO hopes to gather the feedback and input from spouses across the fleet to ensure that this is a living document, and that it reflects real action being taken across the Navy to better meet the needs of its families.

Navy spouses and families rise to the unique challenges they face every day, and the Family Framework is designed to set forth mutual commitments between the Navy and its families to ensure shared success.  It clearly states that every family – including active, reserve and civilians – are an essential part of the team.

The Framework outlines general guidance and CNO’s intent, while allowing local commanders flexibility in how they support the goals of ensuring that spouses and families are fully supported.  Here are the five main goals in the Framework:

    1. Improve Family Readiness Program

    • Address family readiness challenges
    • Improve program effectiveness and evaluate progress
    • Establish a process to encourage feedback and responds when necessary
    1. 2. Better connect with and inform our Navy Families

    • Connect information to families when and where they need it
    • Give the “real scoop” – timely, relevant, consistent and legitimate
    • Build a comprehensive, simple to use tool for easy access, tailored delivery, and metrics to measure success.
    1. 3. Refine the Navy spouse training continuum and expand our training network

    • Identify spouses’ education, resources, and mentoring options
    • Identify best practices and innovation
    • Expand the training network both in and outside the Navy
    1. 4. Deepen meaningful command leader engagement with Navy spouses and families as a key to mission effectiveness of our commands

    • Foster an environment of inclusion so all can thrive
    • Assure all members of the team feel the Navy commitment to their safety, security, and development
    1. 5. Reinforce Navy families’ commitment to the Navy and core values of honor, courage, and commitment.

    • Navy core values should shape our culture
    • Families feel the rewards of serving alongside their Sailors and Navy civilians
    • Spouses have opportunities to develop as leaders as they gain experience alongside their Sailors.
  • Our Role in Making it Real
    You already know that when one member of the Family serves, the entire family serves.  But not every spouse or family fully embraces everything that this commitment offers.  Sometimes we forget that the nature of our experiences in the Navy is dependent up on how we support each other – support from Navy to families, Families to Navy, and families to each other.  By helping to realize the goals of the Framework, each and every family can create a better experience for themselves and everyone who steps into this life after them. We are not just spouses, and our spouses’ jobs are not just any job. In fact, we are part of the 1 percent—the 1 percent of Americans who choose to step forward to serve in the military.  It is a special calling, and one that offers spouses and family members unique opportunities to engage and contribute in ways you may not have dreamed.

    So where do we go from here?  There are many ways for every spouse and family to engage with these goals.  First, please read the Family Framework document.  It’s short (!) and won’t take long.  And while unit commanders and leaders and the CNIC (Commander, Navy Installations Command) work to embrace their roles and responsibilities, so must we all.  Every Navy Family is invited to:


    • Help identify opportunities to improve program effectiveness and evaluate progress.
    • Participate in surveys and feedback.
    • Identify a problem and recommend a solution
    • Identify what is working well and should be copied across the force and sustained in your area.
    • Help with the “real scoop” information through two-way lines of communication.
    • Look for information from the Navy, or it’s trusted partners.
    • Engage in the dialog in constructive ways.
    • Provide feedback on what information you need and the best way to get it to you.

    • Help identify Navy spouses’ leadership, education, mentoring and other resource needs so we may participate fully as part of the team.
    • Engage within your Navy community.
    • Help create an environment where Sailors, Navy Civilians, and Navy families can thrive within your community.
    • Embrace the Navy and its core values.
    • Help other members of the team when they are in need.
    • Take advantage of opportunities for personal and professional growth
    • Act with integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness.
  • Stronger Families Means a Stronger Fleet.  Together we can build strong and supported Navy families.Share your input with your command leaders, with your Ombudsman, or with Naval Services FamilyLine by emailing info@nsfamilyline.org