November 10th marks the 240th birthday of the Marine Corps. While the uniform, weapons and theaters of battle have changed over the last 240 years, one principle that has always remained the same is the Marine Corps commitment to addressing the unique needs of Marines and their families. As we remember the achievements of the Marine Corps on the battlefield we should also highlight the strides the Corps has made in supporting the family members of our brave men and women in uniform.

DSTRESS Line

In August 2010 the Marine Corps developed the DSTRESS Line, a 24/7 phone, chat and online support system that Marines and family members can use to speak anonymously to licensed counselors. The hotline offers a “by marine-for-Marine” approach and is staffed by veteran Marines, Fleet Marine Force corpsmen and civilian counselors specifically trained in Marine Corps culture. The goal of the DSTRESS Line is to help callers manage stress in all forms, ranging from relationship and career issues to deployment and financial problems. To reach the DSTRESS Line call 1-877-476-7734 or visit www.dstressline.com. DSTRESS Line is also available via Skype.

Family Readiness Officers

During Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom the Marine Corps realized that its family services were inadequate to support Marines and families in a wartime environment. In 2007 Family Readiness Officers (FROs) were established to facilitate the flow of information between the Command and the families back home. The FRO is responsible for implementing the Commander’s family readiness vision, managing the Unit, Personal and Family Readiness Program, and providing the necessary support to Marines and families to maintain a constant state of family readiness. The FRO is a resource and referral expert who continuously researches and identifies resources and services to meet any need a Marine Corps family could have. They provide assistance with training opportunities, community outreach events and navigating the challenges of the military lifestyle. To get in touch with your unit’s FRO, contact your local Unit, Personal and Family Readiness Program.

eMarine

Recognizing the need for a mass notification system that allowed Commanders to provide Marines and their family members with timely and accurate information, in 2011 the Marine Corps created eMarine. The eMarine website provides a single, secure environment for Marines and their families to access unit specific and family readiness information. Using eMarine families can download documents resources and unit photos, and receive important information about their unit from anywhere in the world. Today, communication between Marines and their families is an even more important concern as the Marine Corps transitions from large scale deployments to smaller, rapidly deploying units that often depart and return on short notice. As a result, eMarine currently has over 340,000 registered users and remains a key communication tool for deployed Marines.  For more information on family readiness and how to sign up for your own eMarine account, click here.

School Liaison

In 2008 the Marine Corps established the School Liaison Program to minimize the effects of the transient military lifestyle on school age children. The School Liaison Program serves as the point of contact for all matters related to the education of military-connected students. Your local School Liaison will supply resources to assist in the transition of students during relocations, provide information about school options and support parents’ understanding of federal, state and local education laws and regulations impacting military children. To find your local School Liaison and learn more about how the military lifestyle affects school age children, click here.

The DSTRESS Line, Family Readiness Officers, eMarine and School Liaison Program are just a few of the many services the Marine Corps has developed over the last 240 years to meet the needs of Marines and their families. For a full list of the programs and services available to family members, click here.