News | April 9, 2018

A Different Kind of Spouse Group

By JTF-CS Public Affairs Joint Task Force Civil Support

Fort Eustis, Virginia - Military spouse groups might prompt thoughts of organizing social events as well as being an invaluable support system. For Carol Gallant, the wife of Army Maj. Gen. Richard Gallant, the commanding general of Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS), it’s important to understand the focus of the Key Spouse Group (KSG) she helped create.

“Our primary focus is support for readiness in the event of a deployment,” said Mrs. Gallant. “It’s a real working community whose priority, as an official communication tree of the command, is to get the important information directly into the hands of the families.”

This is especially important being a family member of an expeditionary headquarters whose mission is to respond to a catastrophic event 24/7 year-round on a no-notice status.

“The JTF-CS member will be too busy responding to America’s needs, so that’s where the spouse group steps into the gap to keep open line of communication for the family at home,” she added.

While the other branches of service have similar groups, The Key Spouse Program is a commander’s program that is primarily used in the Air Force and is what the JTF-CS Key Spouse Program is modeled after. According to the U.S. Air Force Services website, it’s an official unit/family program designed to enhance readiness and establish a sense of community.

She explained the challenges of having all the branches of service represented yet not one organization on the military installation spearheading the support for joint members.

“Because we have a unique joint command,” said Mrs. Gallant, “there is no precedent readiness program to model after. We felt we were on an island alone creating this program.”

Mrs. Gallant toured JTF-CS with a group of spouses last month to learn more about the mission. After the tour, the spouses sat down to discuss the current spouse group and where it is headed.

“Our mission makes family readiness an absolute mission essential requirement,” Maj. Gen. Gallant explained to the spouses gathered for the tour. “It’s critical to have this group support us while deployed. Not just for the spouses, it’s also peace of mind for the JTF-CS teammates that their families be connected and supported while we are away.”

A new command team is coming in July. Along with that change, several key leaders are moving on to their next duty stations. That means more volunteers are needed to continue a program that the Gallant family agrees is critical to the command.

If you are interested in learning more about this program or volunteering, you can contact Army Capt. Joshua Krevy, the unit key spouse representative, at (757) 501-7656.