A&FRC program equips key spouses to help others

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Key spouses are the go-to people when military life issues arise.

While they don't have all of life's answers, thanks to the Airman & Family Readiness Center's Key Spouse University training, they can certainly point spouses in the right direction to help them meet their needs.

Tech. Sgt Ronald Megginson, Readiness noncommissioned officer in charge at the center, said the quarterly training is designed to meet all the educational requirements for a successful Key Spouse Program.

"Key spouses are ready for anything another spouse may need," he said. "If they don't have the answers, they know where to get them. KSU gives them the opportunity to put more of the success in their own hands."

Active key spouses are required to complete Suicide Awareness and Key Spouse Resiliency training annually, Megginson said.

"Suicide Prevention and Key Spouse Resiliency were made mandatory by the Air Force as an annual requirement to best prepare volunteers," he said. "For the most part, key spouses provide information and point families toward helping agencies to answer specific needs." 

The Robins Key Spouse program coordinator is required to offer additional training relevant to military spouses.

"We coordinate instructors based on trends we see and questions we receive," he said. "These additional classes have included: Compassion Fatigue and Child Developmental Expectations, by our Military Family Life counselors; an overview of the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Program; Military Spousal Protocol from the 78th Air Base Wing; Stress Management and Communications classes from Family Advocacy; and updates from a TRICARE representative on the latest happenings.
Classes change every quarter, and we're always looking for something new to offer."

According to Megginson, the nearly two-year-old program was developed by combining all key spouse training required by the Air Force, creating a one-stop shop to prepare key spouses for their role.

"A key spouse is a listening ear, a voice of experience and a trusted liaison to squadron leadership," he said.  "That potentially puts them in a place where they would be the first line of defense to help a family member who has reached the lowest point in their lives with seemingly no hope.

"They must be ready to help when the needs arise and get folks the help they need," he added.

For convenience, the class is offered quarterly and meets in Bldg. 794 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., so key spouses can still care for their school age children, Megginson said.

To learn more, call (478) 926-1256.