Key Spouse program; Key to keeping families connected
By Airman 1st Class Ariel Leighty, 86 Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 07, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The Air Force Key Spouse program is an official Air Force family and readiness program implemented to help airmen and their families be resilient through any unexpected challenges.
A Key Spouse is a volunteer who is formally appointed by the unit commander to be a conduit of information between unit leadership and families. They also focus on meeting the needs of military families when occurrences such as deployments, temporary duty assignments, and permanent change of station moves arise.
“The Key Spouse program is there for other spouses to be able to reach out to each other and help if they need guidance on which agency to go to for particular issues,” said Andrew Jones, 86th Comptroller Squadron key spouse.
Jones said one of his big goals as a Key Spouse is to help families moving to Germany transition smoothly and help them find outlets around base to adjust easily to living in a different country.
When Jones arrived on Ramstein, the Key Spouse program was under-utilized on base and wasn’t a reliable resource for him like it is now.
“I ended up finding another male spouse through a male Facebook page for spouses. That’s what really helped to get me set up on Ramstein,” said Jones. “And after that I remember telling myself that I was going to pay that forward when Key Spouse asked for volunteers.”
The program aims to promote individual, family, and unit readiness, link spouses to leadership, strengthen leadership’s support team, and encourage peer-to-peer Wingman support.
To become a Key Spouse member, spouses must attend a two day initial training course, totaling 8 hours. The objective of the course is to identify the role and responsibilities of each Key Spouse team member, and strengthen the Air Force community.
Once part of the Key Spouse program, members meet with unit commanders monthly to discuss changes within the unit and encourage participation between service members and their family.
“One of the benefits of being a Key Spouse is being able to help other people and it gives me a chance to reach out and meet other members of the community, said Jones. “I also get a better idea of what goes on in my wife’s office and allows me to be connected that way.”
When thinking of vital resources to Team Ramstein, the Key Spouses are always looking for individuals who are willing to provide crucial assistance across base and become Key Spouses.
For additional information on the Key Spouse Program, please contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center.