What is Survivor Outreach Services (SOS)?
Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) is an Military-wide program designed to provide dedicated and comprehensive support to survivors of deceased Soldiers. The program is a joint effort with collaboration from the Installation Management Command (IMCOM), the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWRC), the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operation Center (CMAOC), the Army and Air National Guard and Army Reserve. SOS standardizes casualty services and policies across the Military and provides additional staffing at Casualty Assistance Centers and Active Component and Reserve Component family Programs. SOS responds to the need for specialized staff at Casualty Assistance Centers (CAC) to help Casualty Assistance Officers (CAO) support survivors, as well as adding additional staff who have the sole mission of providing continuing support to survivors.
What has the Military done?
The Military launched a comprehensive survivor services program, designed specifically to meet the needs of our survivor population, with dedicated resources, and a commitment to providing first class service for as long as the family desires. Improved resourcing at the CACs will ensure those who work with survivors are well-trained and knowledgeable about the myriad of benefits available to our survivors. A compliment of Benefit Coordinators, Financial Counselors, and Support Coordinators will meet the immediate and long-term needs of our survivors for as long as they desire.
What continued efforts does the Military have planned for the future?
To ensure survivors receive ongoing support, SOS support coordinators are available in the Military community service centers. These coordinators provide long-term support throughout the grief process, coordinate support groups, provide information and referral services, coordinate child care as needed, and provide other services as required.
What is SOS designed to do?
-Ensure the National Guard fulfills its covenant with survivors through sustainment of a comprehensive multi-agency program that improves Soldier and family preparedness in the event of a catastrophic loss
-Maximize cooperative efforts within the Army/Air Guard casualty and family programs
-Extend support to Families both before and after a crisis by maximizing cooperation between government and non-government agencies
-Ensure survivors receive all benefits to which they are entitled
-Encourage our survivors to remain an integral part of the Army/Air Guard family for as long as they desire
Why is it important to the National Guard?
By expanding and improving services to Families of the fallen, SOS ensures a holistic and multi-agency approach that provides comprehensive and consistent levels of service at the installation level and across all components to reach geographically dispersed Families. SOS will provide extended financial counseling assistance and long term support to surviving family members, ensuring that surviving Families concerns are addressed expeditiously and to the full extent of our covenant with the Army/Air Guard National Guard family.