What I Learned as an FRG Leader

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The position of FRG Leader doesn’t come naturally to everyone.  It’s a tough job that takes thick skin and a genuine drive to do good for other military families.  When I first became the FRG Leader I did a ton of research on things I could do to benefit the unit.  I learned so much more about myself along the way.

Sometimes the FRG Leader is an Island

I need help.  In almost a decade of dealing with deployments and training exercises I built up a tough shield. I could run my household all by myself.  I could school drop off, bake cookies, and volunteer at soccer practice.  Everything gets done and I never felt like anything fell through the cracks.  What I didn’t realize was how much I leaned on my FRG.

Before I became a leader, I volunteered as a treasurer and key caller.  The FRG Leader was a fantastic resource and a wonderful friend.  When I attended an FRG meeting I was able to sit with friends and have adult conversation.  It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t have the same camaraderie when i held a leadership position.  Those friendships sustained me so that I could play both mom and dad roles.

There’s Only So Much Good I Could Do

I’m a naturally hard worker.  I want to be the best at everything.  Being the best FRG Leader was the only option from day 1.  I sent out weekly e-mails with training updates, calendars, and events in the community.  I put together meal trains for every family that welcomed a new baby.  No question was too silly for me to answer.  In short, I put my all into volunteering for the unit.  I genuinely care about the morale of the families and the unit as a whole.

Over time I realized that I was in a lead a horse to water situation.  Not everyone felt the same way as I did.  Some people just wanted to be left alone, others didn’t want to help with volunteer efforts.  Still others just didn’t give a crap about anyone else.  And all of that’s fine!  With 150+ different viewpoints and backgrounds there’s no way that everyone sings together around the campfire.  At some point I needed to accept that I could only do my best and know that if people wanted help I had made myself available to them.

It’s Difficult Working with My Spouse

I know that there are people out there that work everyday with their husband or wife and it works well for them.  I know after the 18 months of working with my husband that we’re not those people.  We aren’t the greatest at separating work from home.  We ended up turning dinner time into a meeting.  Even worse, when he deployed our phone calls revolved around plans for the unit and the FRG.  That was the hardest for me.  I missed my husband and incredibly stressed out about solo parenthood.  When I needed my spouse I got my coworker instead.  Not an ideal situation.

I Wouldn’t Change a Thing

FRG Leadership was difficult but I enjoyed it.  I liked knowing that I made a difference.  At the end of my tenure 3 spouses that I rarely spoke to reached out to me.  They said that I was the best leader that they ever had and that I’d be missed.  That made it worth while.  I realized that I didn’t have to change the world, I just had to affect one spouse.  And I did.  I would do it all over again.  I would work just as hard.

What I learned as an FRG Leader

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Posted in FRG

36 thoughts on “What I Learned as an FRG Leader

  1. To be honest I don’t know what an FRG leader is but seeing how you’ve taken on that role and how you accomplished and helped so many families as well is indeed remarkable.

  2. Thats awesome, i mean even its difficult, you still enjoy it and like it. I guess, i just learned something today, thank you for sharing this experience

  3. Being in leadership positions are mostly like this. Lots of hard work and dedication that others do not see. Being a good leader means understanding your own strengths and understanding how you can best help others.

  4. I think it’s so admirable that your family already sacrifices so much for others, and yet you took on even more. It sounds like you were able to take your skills and experiences to help others.

  5. I never really knew about FRG leaders. Sounds like you have some amazing strength to hold this position and to also work with your spouse all the time!

  6. I think it would be really hard if the contact you had with your husband was related to tasks. But it was probably nice that you two were on the same page with things and working for a common goal.

  7. I’ve always been (and always will be) in awe of what military spouses give up and how hard they have to work to keep things going at home when the other is deployed! You are clearly a very strong and determined women. Thanks so much for your service (I’ve always believed spouses serve too)!

  8. I had also never heard of what an FRG leader was. But how incredible that you were able to accomplish that! Growing as a person is so important.

  9. So I had to google what that was, but now that I know I’m very impressed. You are an inspirational person and I’m sure those you help are greatful

  10. I had to do a little more research into what FRG is, but wow. You truly are a strong person. I do not think I could handle doing what you do, even just being married to someone who has such a full on, dangerous, and often moving job would take so much out of me. I really admire you for wanting to help others, it sounds like those women will never forget everything you did for them!
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  11. I think it’s great that you can look back and see how you have grown from the experience. I also known from experience that my husband and I won’t work well together and it’s nice to know that and be able to step away from things that would put us there.

  12. Sounds like you did an amazing work as an FRG Leader! It is important to know that we can’t do and control everything but as long as we give our best, all will work out.

  13. Being retired military wife I understand completely. Good that you did such an important job and helped many families.

  14. FRG leaders get a lot of flak for their work. Seems like nobody is truly happy with anything they do…either they do too much or too little…and each person thinks differently. That said, I’m glad you were able to find a balance between the two.

  15. Sounds like you were in a great role for you, and got awesome experience. Being in a leadership position can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. 🙂

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