Family Communication During Deployment

Section Three: Communication Challenges

All military families experience communication challenges.

One of the biggest challenges of deployment is keeping in contact with each other. Think back as you were preparing for this deployment. What kinds of concerns did you or other family members have about communication before the Service Member was deployed? While some concerns may have carried over to your deployment, you may have taken action to resolve some of them, and new ones may have presented themselves.

It is possible, and even likely, that miscommunication will occur.

Think of a time when you have experienced a miscommunication during deployment. Think of the method of communication you used and why it led to the miscommunication. It is important to be aware that communication challenges will happen for many reasons. One way to handle these challenges is to double check confusing, inconsistent, or upsetting information before jumping to any conclusions about it. Remember that instead of placing blame, it is more effective to figure out a way to repair it quickly. In the video to the right, a spouse and children are waiting for a call from the deployed Service Member. The children are anxious and voicing their concerns. Watch the video and then answer the questions to determine the best approach to managing this situation.

Creating a family communications plan will help your family overcome communication challenges.

One way to overcome communication challenges is to create, leverage, and adjust your family communications plan. If you did not have a chance to discuss a communications plan before your Service Member left, you might consider creating one based on your assessment of which communication methods will work best for your family. If you already have a communications plan, consider whether you need to revise it. Keep in mind that your plan will need to take into consideration your family’s communication goals and include details, such as what the best ways to communicate will be, as well as what method will be used and how often. Effective communications plans will outline what you will discuss and what you will stay away from to adhere to the rules of operational security.