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Published:April 26th, 2007 04:39 EST
Stresses Support of Navy Family at EFMP Conference

Stresses Support of Navy Family at EFMP Conference

By SOP newswire

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SW/FMF) Joe R. Campa Jr. spoke to more than 100 Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) coordinators April 24 at their annual conference here.

Campa stressed to the group that the Navy must live up to its commitment of supporting all the families that comprise the total force.

“Our Sailors and Marines need to have faith in us as an institution,” said Campa. “They need to know in their hearts that the policies designed to support them were made with their best interests in mind.”

EFMP was created to ensure the special needs of a Sailor’s family member can be met at a prospective assignment location. EFMP enrollment information enables Navy detailers to proactively consider a family member's special need requirements during the assignment process and to pinpoint the assignment to a location with appropriate resources that address the special needs.

MCPON acknowledged that in his experience as a command master chief he consistently battled fleet perceptions of the program as he discussed enrollment with Sailors.

“I realize that much of your job is addressing career concerns, and I know there’s a perception that enrollment in EFMP can hurt a Sailor’s career," he said. "We know that’s not the case, but it’s difficult convincing a hard-charging Sailor or Marine of that.”

According to EFMP officials, enrollment in the program has no effect on a Sailor’s advancement opportunity or career progression. Selection boards have no visibility on whether a Sailor is enrolled, and as long as sponsors continue to perform at a high level their eligibility for promotion equals the rest of the Navy.

“When we discuss the benefits of this program we have to make sure our Sailors fully understand its value," explained Campa. "They have to realize that placing them in locations where their families can be treated with the best possible care is a career enhancer, not an impediment.”

The primary purpose of the annual EFMP Conference is to provide training and program updates for EFMP coordinators who support both the Navy and Marine Corps. Topics for this year’s conference included PCS assignments, program screening and enrollment responsibilities.

For more news from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Navy, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/mcpon/.

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Bill Houlihan, MCPON Public Affairs