What is it?
The Army Survivor Advisory Working Group is a voice for Regular Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve survivors on quality of life issues and concerns affecting all survivors. Members of the working group strengthen communication between the Total Army and the Army survivor community.
Army Survivor Advisory Working Group membership consists of 12 Army members from the Headquarters Army staff and Army commands, 12 survivor advisors and spouses of senior Army leaders.
The Survivor Advisory Working Group, established in 2007, was chartered in October 2016, formally defining the group’s mission and purpose.
What has the Army done / is doing?
The Army Survivor Advisory Group meets at least twice yearly to identify, evaluate and provide recommendations on new issues, reopen old issues and refocus active issues. These meetings provide a venue for Army’s senior leaders to understand and address issues effecting the survivor community.
Members discuss quality of life issues effecting Army survivors worldwide and provide advice and recommendations regarding concerns of Army survivors.
Accomplishments of the Survivor Advisory Working Group include:
- Memorial Day and service flag awareness campaign.
- Gaining 24-month survivor Soldier stabilization.
- Gold Star access badge renaming.
- Advocating for Soldier bereavement leave.
- Promoting TRICARE status notification changes.
- Assisting survivors with expedited Gold Star pin replacement.
Members of the working group also are active at local Survivor Outreach Services offices and share their stories during training sessions for casualty assistance officers. Working group members have advised on casualty assistance officer training, assisted with face-to-face pastoral care and ensured survivor-based scenarios are included in Army Soldier and Family program training
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army Survivor Advisory Working Group shows the Army’s commitment to its Soldiers. The Army values its Families and despite the loss of the Soldier, the Army ensures survivor Families feel connected to the Army for as long as they desire.
How do I get involved in the SAWG?
Army plans to solicit for new Survivor Advisory Working Group members on an annual basis. Prospective members should be surviving civilian and active-duty spouses and Family members such as spouse, parent or child. They should be active in survivor communities and reflect a diverse cross-section of the Army. Nominations for applicants are vetted through the local SOS Coordinators to the commands. Annual guidance for solicitation of new members is published through command channels each fall.
Army Survivor Advisory Working Group members serve three-year terms and may extend terms up to one year.
How do I share a survivor concern that the SAWG should consider addressing?
The SAWG is supported by one Army staff member. If you have a concern that impacts survivors and you think that changes in Army policy could improve conditions for survivors you can send an email to the staff. The concern will be provided to the 12 members of the SAWG for consideration. The members then agree to accept an issue and further prioritize the issues that they will develop for the Army Senior Leaders. To contact the SAWG Staff click here.
(Current as of 13 January 2021)