During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to create a Military Families Advisory Board "consisting of experts and family representatives from each service." The board would "help identify and develop actionable policies to ease the burden on spouses and families. The board would provide an institutionalized conduit (presently missing) for the evolving concerns of military families to be brought to the attention of senior policymakers and the public."
We initially rated this promise Stalled because we were unable to find a board by that name in Internet and Nexis searches. But it turns out that a board with a similar mission -- ordered in a defense authorization bill signed by President George W. Bush -- was advanced by publication of a Federal Register notice submitted by Obama's Defense Department on April 29, 2010.
The mission of the panel, officially known as the Department of Defense Military Family Readiness Council, includes monitoring "requirements for the support of military family readiness by the Department of Defense" and evaluating and assessing "the effectiveness of (Defense Department) military family readiness programs and activities." Every year by Feb. 1, the council will be responsible to submit to the Defense Secretary and congressional oversight committees a report on military family readiness, including "an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of the military family readiness programs and activities of the Department of Defense ... in meeting the needs and requirements of military families."
In addition to seating representatives of each of the military services, the membership is to include "three individuals appointed by the Secretary of Defense from among representatives of military family organizations, including military family organizations that represent the regular and reserve components."
"While a group has not been stood up under the name 'Military Family Advisory Board," we believe that the Military Family Readiness Council fills this bill," said Bailey Bernius, a spokeswoman for the National Military Family Association.
We rate this a Promise Kept.