Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yellow Ribbon: the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
For National Guard and Reservists

(Most of the following information is paraphrased from the YRRP's website:  www.yellowribbon.mil.)

Yellow Ribbon Program Mission:  To promote the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle.

Yellow Ribbon Program Vision
A ready and resilient National Guard and Reserve Force successfully navigating the challenges of deployments.


What is it?
[There is a great program overview video on their website, check it out.]
Mandated by Congress, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) is dedicated to addressing the unique needs of National Guard and Reserve members before, during and after deployments. The National Guard and Reserve Services differ from the Active Duty in the way they prepare for deployments and reintegrate after returning. Many service members are geographically separated from other members of their units. Recognizing that the National Guard, the Reserves, and their families face unique challenges, Congress mandated the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program be established to specifically respond to those challenges.


This program is an effort by the Department of Defense, to promote the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities, by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle. Through Yellow Ribbon events, service members and loved ones connect with local resources before, during, and after deployments. Reintegration during post-deployment (30, 60, and 90 days) is a critical time for members of the Guard and Reserve, as they often live far from military installations and members of their units. Commanders and leaders play a critical role in assuring that Reserve service members and their families attend Yellow Ribbon events where they can access information on health care, education/training opportunities, financial, and legal benefits.  The YRRP works with federal partners, including the Small Business Administration, the Department of Labor, and Veterans Affairs office to provide relevant information to the members of the National Guard, Reserve, and their families.

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) is organized under the  under the Family and Employer Programs and Policy Office within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

Request a Speaker for your Deployment Readiness Event
The Yellow Ribbon program has a "cadre of speakers" available to speak at a pre-deployment, deployment, or post-deployment/reintegration event.  They make it simple to request a speaker on their website; and you can read their biographies ahead of time.  They also have an extensive video gallery and a newsletter, The Ribbon:  "for those who serve and those who support".

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program looks like a great and comprehensive resource for Reservists, Guard, and their families.  As an active duty wife, I also find the videos and resources helpful.  I like how structured and thoughtful and available YRRP's sessions and resources are.  I would like to see something like this in place for deploying and returning active duty Navy and their families.

--Megan

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