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Updated policy increases Soldier retention

☷Updated policy increases Soldier retention

U.S. Army
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   Brig . Gen . Patrick R . Michaelis , Fort Jackson commander , poses with Spc . Kelley Steiner , a military police specialist with the 17th Military Police Detachment , at the NCO Club on Fort Jackson April 28 . Steiner , who is on her second pregnancy was an administrator of a social media group characterized as part of the ‘grassroots’ campaign that affected changes to the Army’s Parenthood , Pregnancy and Postpartum program . ( Photo by Capt . Meredith Piro ) For one pregnant Fort Jackson Soldier who last year weighed “heavily on getting out” of the ......Army , the changes in the Army Parenthood , Pregnancy and Postpartum directive made her “100% more confident” to stay in the service . Spc . Kelley Steiner , a military police specialist on her second pregnancy , not only benefits from the new program , but was instrumental in changing Army policy by bringing attention to the plight of expecting parents during a part - time gig as a social media administrator . Steiner , who serves in the 17th Military Police Detachment , was part of what an Army press release described as a “grassroots effort by Soldiers to identify issues facing pregnant and postpartum Soldiers . ” Members of Steiner’s social media group discussed the former policy and prospective changes the service would ultimately include in the updated program . “Through a series of grassroots campaigns that have happened across the Army over the course of the past two years , we realized that if we’re really going to put People First , we have got to put our policy where our mouth is , ” said Brig . Gen . Patrick R . Michaelis , Fort Jackson commander . Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth formalized the policy by signing a directive April 21 aimed at “improving opportunities for Soldiers to advance their careers while providing the time and flexibility needed to care for growing families . ” The directive compiled 12 different components that “have been put in play across 20 different regulations , ” into one document , Michaelis said . “This directive that came out a few days ago is really a long term investment in the readiness of our parent , by promoting Soldier wellness , during pregnancy , ” Michaelis said . “It recognizes that we as leaders are actually listening to the concerns of our Soldiers and their Families . ” Steiner faced postpartum pregnancy issues under the previous policy that made it difficult for her to return to Army prescribed physical criteria . Under the previous rules , she had 180 days from the day she gave birth to the time she would get back into height and weight standards . “I want to say that I gained maybe 25 pounds …” she said . “I was retaining weight and I just couldn’t lose it . ” She was taking two to three fat burners a day , not eating and working out twice a day but was unable to shed the weight . This was making her go “downhill very fast . ” Fortunately , her fears were allayed in May 2021 when the Army announced it was allowing a 365 - day deferment of height and weight standards after a pregnancy . “I cried the day I found out that I did not no longer have to stress myself out , ” she added . Steiner , who said she focused on changes to Family Care Plans said under the new “directive we were able to really define what we needed to set in place , so parents can take care of their kids or take care of their Family members and not be penalized …” Family Care Plans previously did not have any real direction , she said . FCPs spell out how members of a family are taken care of if a Soldier has to deploy or go somewhere . “We are putting the care of the Family above the training , ” Michaelis said . It has a small impact on the Army’s readiness , but “a greater impact on the quality of life of our Soldiers and their Families , which allows us to retain them and ( lets them ) know the Army cares about them . ” According to the press release , the directive contains 12 components . Six of them are entirely new – five of which were suggested from Soldier feedback – and the other six are updates to existing policies . Although four components were required by Congress , the Army expanded on the initial requirements to improve the health and quality of life for all parents . Army Directive 2022 - 06 ( Parenthood , Pregnancy and Postpartum ) can be found at Army Publishing Directorate at: https://armypubs . army . mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/ArmyDir . aspx


06 May 2022 ( May 06 2022 )



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Updated policy increases Soldier retention
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