WASHINGTON — The Army is currently piloting a new Exceptional Family Member Program online enrollment process to improve the assignment research and selection process for EFMP participants, G-9 officials said Thursday.
Close to 300 Soldiers and family members are participating in the initial test of the integrated Army Enterprise EFMP system, or E-EFMP, from Aug. 27 through Sept. 30, said Paul Grossman, EFMP lead for Soldier and Family Readiness, Army G-9.
The new system should reduce the time Soldiers and families dedicate toward investigating care and support options during the permanent change of station process, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston said recently during the 2021 Fires conference, hosted by Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Families often have to research a gaining installation and surrounding community to determine if they have the necessary services to meet their EFMP requirements, Grinston said. They then have to repeat the process if denied their initial assignment, resulting in undue stress.
“Why does a family member have to research [an assignment] all on their own?” Grinston said. “We are better than that in this day and age. I got that task and working on it extremely hard.”
In June, Grossman said that the Army awarded a contract to develop the E-EFMP to support the service’s EFMP families by fiscal year 2022.
Under E-EFMP, Soldiers can access a range of medical and assignment information, along with an overview of installation and military treatment facility capabilities, he added. The program will also operate as the Army’s centralized EFMP case management system, allowing Soldiers to initiate a Department of Defense Form 2792, or Family Member Medical Summary, and manage their enrollment online.
Once the pilot is complete, G-9 officials plan to leverage user feedback to improve the program, Grossman said. The goal is to design a system that is both transparent and easy to use.
The E-EFMP will eventually link to the Active Duty Officer Assignment Interactive Module Version 2, or AIM 2.0, or the enlisted assignment process to streamline future PCS efforts, Grinston said.
The Department of Defense’s Office of Special Needs and Military OneSource have also supported EFMP families with the launch of the online tool EFMP & Me, Grinston mentioned during an interview in February.
Through EFMP & Me, Soldiers have access to medical and educational resources, along with step-by-step assistance during the EFMP enrollment process, PCS preparation, deployments, and other military life events, according to the Military OneSource website.
On the EFMP & Me homepage, users answer a few questions to select the types of information they want to receive. The tool, available on computers or mobile devices, will also generate customizable checklists for users to follow. Lists include essential items to complete, along with tips and other resources.