The sacrifices made by our military, in defending freedom and preserving peace throughout the world, have brought us to a unique crossroads. The dissolution of the Soviet Union combined with the end of the Cold War Era has resulted in a paradigm shift in our global defense perspective. The nature of this shift necessitates a change in the military force structure of the United States. To adapt to this change, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been tasked with reducing its basing and staffing requirements. Installations involved in the current Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) mission, and the communities surrounding BRAC installations, directly experience the impact of this reduction.
As installations are closing, military and civilian personnel who normally provide family Quality of Life programs and services are themselves relocating. This creates a tremendous void in support programs and services in effected military communities. To fill the void, installation leaders seek creative and innovative ways to continue to provide quality care and support for military families. Consequently, these leaders request information from their Service Headquarters on lessons learned and best practices for maintaining family Quality of Life as they close their installations. The multitude of these requests confirm a need for research-based information that addresses Quality of Life issues during the closure process.
As a result of the call for research-based information, extensive BRAC Quality of Life studies have been conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service through an interagency agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture/Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA/CSREES), and the Department of Defense Office of Community Support Policy.
Following data analysis of the information gathered, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has developed products for the project, People and Closure: Maintaining Quality of Life. Team members at AgriLife Extension and The Texas A&M University System contribute a unique blend of educational research expertise and an understanding of the strong military commitment to Quality of Life. Project personnel include Specialists in the areas of Family and Community Leadership, Family Life, Family Economics, Community Development, and Military Family Life.
Project materials include the following components:
- Planning Resource Guide – designed for support service providers to detail base closure, its impact on Quality of Life, and alternative family support resources available both on and off installation.
- Leadership Desktop Reference – designed specifically for use by installation commanders to track closure processes. This is a condensed reference to the main component in a DAYTIMER format.
- Cooperative Extension Service – Military Collaborations – designed to assist Cooperative Extension Service personnel in understanding all aspects of collaboration between Extension and the Military in the area of Family Support Programming.
For additional information contact:
Nancy L. Granovsky, CFP, CFCS
Professor and Family Economics Specialist
College Station, Texas 77843-2251
phone: (979) 845-1869
fax: (979) 845-6496