The spouse of III Marine Expeditionary Force’s top leader spoke to Mongolian armed forces service members and their families about family readiness programs July 29 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
As the wife of Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force and commander of Marine Corps Bases Japan, Liz Glueck has experienced the impact military deployments can have on family life. During her presentation, which took place three days before the kick off of Exercise Khaan Quest 2011, she explained how family readiness programs within the military become a force multiplier for ensuring military readiness.
The goal of the presentation was to familiarize key military personnel and spouses about the importance of family readiness programs and provide background on how the Marine Corps programs have developed in recent years.
“The transformation of the Mongolian armed forces into a modern, rapidly-deployable peacekeeping force has shown the stresses that occur on families,” said Lt. Gen. Glueck Jr. “The Mongolian armed forces are now routinely deploying peacekeeping forces to the most troubled areas of the world, and they are now seeing the impacts that these continuous deployments have on families.”
Liz Glueck discussed how family readiness programs can help mitigate the stresses associated with deployments.
“We found in the Marine Corps that it was important for unit readiness for service members to be able to be ready and concentrate on the mission; to know that their families are being taken care of when they have problems. That was why we started our family readiness program,” Liz Glueck told about 120 Mongolian service members across a spectrum of ranks and their family members during her presentation.
“The most important messages of the presentation were that family readiness is a force multiplier and serves to add cohesion to the unit and focus to the mission of the unit. This is especially important considering the increase in Mongolian armed forces peacekeeping deployments,” she explained.
“I hope the take-away is that family readiness is a boon to unit readiness,” she said. “Knowing his family has a support system when the service member deploys frees the service member to concentrate on the mission, making the mission safer and less stressful for everyone.”
Mongolian armed forces leaders are listening to the message, according to Lt. Gen. Glueck Jr.
“My wife expected a very small group discussion, instead it was a large audience in an auditorium; the level of interest far exceeded our expectation,” the general said.
Such a well-attended presentation on family issues by a family member is a significant testament to how far the Mongolian armed forces have developed in recent years, added the general.
“The degree of interest and the depth of questions [during the presentation] clearly showed their commitment to addressing the challenges of routine deployments. It is truly a credit to the Mongolians that they have addressed the family readiness issue head-on and reached out to our Corps,” he said.
“The Mongolian armed forces have effectively developed a comprehensive strategy for their transformation, and I assess that they are well ahead of most of our partner nations in reaching their desired end-state,” he said.
Developing a family readiness program is another indicator of the Mongolian armed forces total transformation into a modern peacekeeping force, he said.
“Exercise Khaan Quest 2011 has once again provided the multinational venue to maintain the momentum of the Mongolian armed forces transformation effort,” the general said.