Survivors find easier access to Army installations, remain connected

Certain Gold Star and next-of-kin survivors will find it easier to visit Army installations after a new process went into effect in January. The new process resulted from Section 626 of Public Law 115-232, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The law recognizes survivors as having a valid requirement for long-term, unescorted access to Army installations.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Certain Gold Star and next-of-kin survivors will find it easier to visit Army installations after a new process went into effect in January.

The new process resulted from Section 626 of Public Law 115-232, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The law recognizes survivors as having a valid requirement for long-term, unescorted access to Army installations.

“The Army values people, especially our Gold Star spouses and Family members,” said Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram, commanding general, U.S. Army Installation Management Command. “This change allows them to more easily receive the benefits and services to which they are entitled and helps them stay connected to the Army.”

The new survivor access policy allows qualified survivors to get through gate security more easily to attend events, view memorials and receive services through Army Community Service-Survivor Outreach Services by using their survivor access badges.

Qualified survivors are those who are not eligible for a military ID card and meet the criteria to receive the Gold Star lapel button or Gold Star Next-of-Kin Lapel Button. The survivor access badge does not grant the holder privileges to the Exchange, commissary or discounts at Armed Forces recreation centers.

ACS-SOS provides dedicated and comprehensive support through a network of civilians serving as advocates for survivors. At Fort Campbell, the SOS staff – located in the historic Parrish House, 5001 Screaming Eagle Drive, near TC Freeman Gate – can assist survivors to access benefits available to them including financial counseling.

Because Fort Campbell has not yet implemented the Army’s Automated Installation Entry system, the post uses the DA Form 1602 to provide survivor access to the installation.

“The Army honors our surviving Family members by ensuring their access to our installations and Army-led joint bases,” said Col. Kevin A. Comfort, IMCOM provost marshal.

To track survivors’ feedback on the new process, the Interactive Customer Evaluation survey added new questions to determine customer satisfaction with outreach efforts. The online survey can be found at https://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=card&sp=124895&s=339&dep=*DoD&sc=6.

The survivor access badge is consistent across the Army and is valid for three years. Department of Defense leaders are determining policy to provide reciprocity for survivor access badges across all services.

For more information on Fort Campbell ACS-SOS visit https://campbell.armymwr.com/programs/survivor-outreach-services, or call 270-798-0277.

Maria Rice McClure, Fort Campbell Public Affairs, contributed to this release.

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