Family readiness is a combat multiplier, equally as important as individual, equipment and combat readiness. It is the ability of the individual Marine and their family to successfully balance life, career and mission events, through active and reserve service, and is supported by the enduring partnership between the unit's Family Readiness Command Team and Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS). It is an obligation between the Corps and the Marine and their entire family. The individual Marine is responsible and accountable for his personal and family readiness. The Unit Family Readiness Program is the responsibility of the Commanding Officer (CO). MCCS is responsible to support both the individual Marine and their family and the Unit Family Readiness Program.
Family is defined as all members of a Marine’s family. Marines have three families: the family they are born into, the family they are sworn into, and the family they are married into. Therefore, family support shall be accessible and provided to Marines (regardless of marital status), spouses, children, wards, and the designated parents/extended family members of Marines.
The Unit Family Readiness Program does not replace small unit leadership. The commander and other members of the Family Readiness Command Team leadership must instill in subordinate leaders of all ranks, down to the lowest levels, a sense of the gravity and urgency involved in requiring their Marines to sustain themselves and their families in a constant state of readiness. The Marine and their family are supported in their goal of attaining and maintaining readiness by the commander and other members of the Family Readiness Command Team, and by small unit leadership, but the ultimate responsibility rests with the Marine.
The goal of personal and family readiness programs is to provide resource information and training in addition to support services to enhance a Marine’s personal and family readiness. A Marine must ensure their personal and family affairs are in order so that they will remain fully focused on the mission, whether in garrison or in combat. A ready Marine and family:
- Understand the additional responsibilities that will fall on the family when the Marine departs
- Are knowledgeable of and able to utilize information about benefits, entitlements, programs, and services provided through the Department of Defense, the Marine Corps, and the community
- Are knowledgeable of command structure and resources available to assist and contribute to personal and family readiness goals
Note: This extended definition of family does not override the Marine Corps legal definitions of family and loco-parentis regarding emergency leave, DEERS enrollment issues, etc.