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Family Programs News
NEWS | Nov. 5, 2009

Guard offers information through Joint Services Support portal

By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. - The National Guard Bureau has put the finishing touches on a new Joint Services Support (JSS) portal developed to help Guardsmen and their family members get information on an abundance of support programs.

The new portal, online now at, provides easy access to programs offered at the state and unit level, including the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), National Guard Family Program, Psychological Health Program, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program and Warrior Support Program.

The design and layout of the Web sites for these programs are now consistent in their look, navigation and link placements. The information on these Web sites is also specific to the 54 states and territories, and the state and program links are placed at the top of the main JSS portal page.

In cooperation with the states’ program managers, the one-stop Web site will be a gateway to continuously updated and relevant information, which Guardmembers and their families use in their daily lives, said officials.

"We have developed this portal to assist you, the service and family member, in getting information on a variety of programs that have been created especially for you,” said Army Maj. Gen. Lawrence Ross, director of Manpower and Personnel at the National Guard Bureau in a video posted on the Portal’s main Web page.

The following programs are located on the portal:

  • Yellow Ribbon Program: Prepares National Guard and Reserve members and their families for deployments, sustains their families during deployments and reintegrates servicemembers with their families, communities and employers upon re-deployment or release from active duty
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve: Gains and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflicts through mediation
  • Family Program: Establishes and facilitates ongoing communications, involvement, support and recognition between National Guard families and the National Guard
  • Psychological Health Program: Advocates, promotes, and guides National Guard members and their families by supporting psychological fitness for operational readiness
  • Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program: Serves as the National Guard Bureau single point of responsibility for sexual assault prevention and response policy and oversight
  • Warrior Support Program: Provides a transition assistance advisor in each state and territory to help Guardmembers and their families with accessing Veterans Affairs benefits and filing claims, TRICARE, state benefits, and access to community resources
  • Ross said they are "committed to giving full support to the National Guard’s servicemembers and families,” and he encouraged them to visit the portal on a regular basis.

    "I believe this portal is a positive step in that direction,” he said.

    Anyone clicking on the portal’s predecessor, ",” will be rerouted to the new site.

    In addition to their online capabilities, Ross said they have also developed mobile and phone-based system technologies that will allow Guardsmen or family members to receive important information wherever they might be.

    The state’s program managers have recommended the portal and filled it with information as well as managing and sharing resources through it.

    "You can send somebody there, let’s say a wife facing a deployment. T, they go there and get a lot more information than they used to get,” said Stephanie Duell, a Family Programs assistant for the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs outside Albany.

    She said she uses the portal to support the state’s Army Guard families. "I think it’s a good tool,” Duell said, but added that users will "get out of the new portal what they put into it.”

    "If you go to the portal and login for New York, you will be able to find your unit in the menus,” she said. "You can go in, and you can register as the spouse, brother, member of .

    "That allows us to go up and see who has joined, it allows the Guard Bureau to go up and see who is most active,” she said. "It’s really is a good thing … there’s message boards up there … I’m a fan.”

    For the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, the portal allows states to share their information on Yellow Ribbon events, so Guardmembers, spouses and other family members can view events at many locations.

    "If you click up there, you can see all we have going on,” said Andrew Depalo, deputy director for Family Programs in New York. "This is bringing everybody together.”