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Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, the III Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, shows his appreciation to family readiness officers, May 39, 2018, at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan. Family readiness officers dedicate their time to helping Marines and their families prepare for deployments. (U.S. Marine photo by Lance Cpl. Zackary Walker)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Zackary Walker

III MEF commanding general shows appreciation to family readiness officers

4 Jun 2018 | U.S. Marine Corps story by Lance Cpl. Zackary Walker III Marine Expeditionary Force

CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa, Japan - Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, extended a hand of appreciation to family readiness officers, June 1, at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan.

During the ceremony, Nicholson presented the FROs with a letter of appreciation for their exceptional professionalism and continued support of Marines forward-deployed in Okinawa.

“It's nice to know we are appreciated as FROs," said Kevin Lathrop, a FRO with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced). "It's not too often we get recognized."

FROs are charged with connecting Marines and Sailors with resources and referral information vital to improving quality of life and preparing military families for deployments. In fact, the FRO designation is slated to be renamed deployment readiness coordinator, which Nicholson described as "team rebranding."

“We are responsible for ensuring that Marines and their families are always prepared for deployment,” said Dennise Fettig-Lofteness, a FRO with III Marine Expeditionary Force. “This means we act as the communication hub and provide contacts and information families need to cope with military life.”

During the ceremony, Nicholson expressed the importance of readiness as it pertains to individuals preparing for deployment and their families.

“Our Marines need to continue to be ready to fight tonight,” he said. “This means the Marine ensures their family is mentally, physically and financially suited for their departure and time away from home.”

Marines forward-deployed to Okinawa have a rigorous training schedule and broad area of operation, which limits their time spent with their families.

“Distractions in the field and work environment can be dangerous to themselves and their fellow Marines around them,” Nicholson said. “FROs remove the threat of family complications so Marines can focus on the job at hand and accomplish the mission safely.”