Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program: Support for Guard and Reserve
All service members and their families may face challenges throughout the deployment cycle, from pre-deployment to reintegration. But National Guard and Reserve members can face additional challenges, as they may not live near military facilities or have community supports in place. To help National Guard and Reserve members and their families overcome these challenges, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program proactively provides information about benefits, referrals, programs and services for health and well-being.
The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program consists of a series of events at key stages in the deployment cycle such as:
- During deployment (just for families)
- 30 days after deployment
- 60 days after deployment
- 90 days after deployment
These specially tailored programs prepare National Guard and Reserve members and their families for all phases of deployment. It is common to experience difficult situations throughout the deployment cycle — especially for those who may not live near a military installation — so use the information below to learn about how this program can help, who’s eligible, how to get involved and what resources to use after your participation.
Why Use the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program?
Event managers from the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program coordinate with existing National Guard and Reserve family and support programs to create specially tailored events with specific information on benefits, services and resources that are most relevant during each phase of deployment.
These events — typically held over weekends with service members’ units — help warriors and families learn about resources and programs close to home that can help with a variety of issues they may face before, during and after deployment. In addition, these events offer actionable information about using available benefits, including resources for:
- Managing family finances during deployment
- Accessing veterans’ benefits, including medical and G.I. Bill benefits
- Coping with combat stress
- Taking care of legal concerns, such as power of attorney documents
- Addressing substance misuse
- Finding employment and higher-education counseling
- Using anger management services
- Using family support services from the Red Cross, Military OneSource and other community organizations
—Tech. Sgt. Katie Badowski, 446th Services Flight2
In addition to the information provided at these events, state representatives of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program can act as a one-on-one resource for service members and their families, connecting them with a network of local and national services based on each individual’s needs. Reaching out is a sign of strength, so if you would like to speak with your local state representative, talk to your commanding officer today to obtain the relevant contact information.
Who’s Eligible to Participate?
- The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is available to all National Guard and Reserve members activated to participate in or deployed in support of an operational mission for 90 days or more — as well as their families.1
- Service members returning from their 90-day or longer deployments are put on orders, regardless of travel distance.
- Service members may be allowed to bring up to three family members with them to certain Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program events*
- Child care is also available at many Yellow Ribbon Reintegration events1*
*Please check with the event’s coordinator or point of contact in advance for the policy for each event.
If you do not meet any of the above eligibility requirements (or are unsure if you do), contact the DCoE Outreach Center by logging on to Real Warriors Live Chat or calling 866-966-1020. Trained health resource consultants are available 24/7 to offer free, confidential advice about which tools are right for you and your family.
Find a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Event in your Area
"Everyone's transition will be different, but no matter what our members need to know or what benefits are out there, they can be accessed."—Master Sgt. Steven Thomas, Airman and Family Readiness technician and Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program workshop coordinator2
Service members and families can find and register for Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program events in their local area with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Event Planner. The Event Planner includes event information by state, topic and points of contact. Or, speak with your commanding officer to locate local unit points of contact, as well as the most up-to-date information regarding the program and its many benefits.
Support Resources After the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
Service members and families are eligible to receive referrals for follow-on care or access to services outside of a unit Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event through Military OneSource, VA Vet Centers and the TAMP benefit, which extends TRICARE benefits for six months following return from an operational deployment.1 Additionally, all warriors and families can contact the DCoE Outreach Center through Real Warriors Live Chat or by calling 866-966-1020 for free, confidential guidance about psychological health and traumatic brain injury concerns.
Visit the National Guard and Reserve forum at the Real Warriors Message Boards to connect with other service members.
1"Frequently Asked Questions page," Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. Last accessed Sept. 23, 2012.
2 Chappelle, Tech. Sgt. Jake. “Tying things off at Yellow Ribbon.” 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs. Published July 10, 2009.