As a community, we are often called upon to help ensure that new military service members and their families get acclimated to the military lifestyle. With so many programs out there, it can be difficult for new service members to find and utilize the programs they need. But initial entry is hardly the only time military families need help navigating the densely populated military-program waters. Transitioning out of the military can also bring a unique set of challenges. Being a resource for families during the transition process is what led Michelle Stephenson Galvez to the USO Transition 360 Alliance and the RP/6 program. "I was a Army National Guard combat medic, Navy spouse, ombudsman volunteer, among other things, but after getting my master's degree in public administration I wanted to get out of government contract work and into the nonprofit field," says Galvez. "When the opportunity to work with the USO came up, I jumped at the chance to support service members and their families." Galvez currently serves as the USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia RP/6 Site Manager.
The USO turns 75!
Founded in 1941, the USO's original mission was to promote moral and entertainment among the troops of WWII.This year they celebrate 75 years of connecting service members to family, home and country. Since its inception, the USO mission has grown. "The USO Transition 360 Alliance offers transitioning service members, veterans and their families holistic support to plan for the future, pursue a new career and strengthen the family," says Galvez. When it comes time to transition out of the military, be it by retirement, separation, or medical board, the USO Transition360 Alliance stands at the ready to connect military families with a nationwide network of programs and services. One of their most robust programs is the R/6 program.
RP/6 offers a dedicated staff known as Scouts to help transitioning service members develop a personalized plan and connects them with on-base and community resources. Every Scout is a former military service member or family member, so they know first hand the unique challenges military families face when they transition back into the civilian world. All services are free, and service members can register online. During the registration process, transitioning service members can tailor their program needs, selecting from everything from employment and education resources to those dealing with finance, legal, housing, family support/wellness and volunteerism. "And there is no need to wait until you're out and wondering which way to turn, " says Galvez. Services through the R/6 program are offered to service members and their family as early as 12 months prior to transition and up to 12 months after.
Get More Information
The USO Alliance's R/6 program is currently available at five major military installations, including Norfolk/Hampton Roads, San Antonio, Fort Hood, Fort Campbell, and Colorado Springs. Additional program offices are being established at Fort Drum, Fort Riley, Nellis AFB, and in El Paso, TX. Contact and more information about the USO Transition 360 Alliance can be found online at www.uso.org/360. For those in the Hampton Roads and Central Virginia area, http://usohrcv.com/ offers specific regional information. Interested service members can also find the USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia on Facebook.