Message to Air Force Families

from Jeremy Hilton :

Dear Air Force Family,
Just to bring everyone up to speed, in Sept our family as well as 15 other Air Force families filed a DoD IG complaint against the Air Force related to its failure to implement its current EFM program as well as not providing the necessary supports related to our families’ special needs. We received the below email from Col Jacobson (SAF/IGX) yesterday; and I thought I’d share.
Per that email, it is critical that Air Force families provide input to Ms. Barger (contact info below) as soon as possible (this is separate from the IG complaint). Even if your family was not one of the families that signed the IG complaint, the Air Force is looking for feedback from families enrolled in EFMP. From what we have been told, this issue is getting visibility at the highest levels and they are wanting to hear from families so that they can appropriately revamp the EFMP.
Please do not assume that other families will take care of providing input to Ms. Barger. The more families that respond to her, the better likelihood of an appropriate EFM program. This is YOUR opportunity to make a difference and have your story and possible solutions heard by AF senior leadership.
I’d urge each of you to consider what it is you think are the necessary components to ensure that our families receive the help they need, in transition from base to base, in the middle of an assignment, and during deployments. Issues might include problems related to respite care, special education support, medical needs, case management issues, legal, financial, command support, child care, housing, Guard/Reserve issues, etc.
Before you email or talk to Ms. Barger, please take into consideration that this is the office that is now charged with fixing the problem. My recommendation is that you provide constructive criticism that they can use to fix the problem for the Air Force. Your stories are important but so are your solutions!
Feel free to call me to discuss. If you’d like a copy of the IG complaint, please email me at jlrmhilton @ Please share this email with others that might be interested in providing support and/or perspective.

Jeremy Hilton

“I just came from a meeting with Lt Gen Newton (AF/A1). He called the meeting to specifically discuss the EFMP issues you and the other 15 AF families brought to light. I was very impressed with the tone of the meeting and how positively everyone handled the issues. Lt Gen Newton is committed to establishing an “Air Force enterprise approach” to satisfying the needs of AF families with special needs. He also stated that he wants the fix to be “enduring”. He viewed your concerns as a positive & welcomed opportunity for the AF leadership to step up and do all they can to robust the program to better serve all our Airmen in need—especially given that this is the Year of the Air Force Family. Lt Gen Newton opened with his own experiences having a child that required special care once – his experiences were similar to some of yours; disjointed care, having to do the research and networking themselves, etc.

Those attending the meeting were:

Lt Gen Newton, AF/A1
Ms Barbara Barger, (SES) AF/A1
Mr Charles Milam, (SES) AF/A1S
Ms Eliza Nesmith, AF/A1SA
Mr Edmundo Gonzales, (SES) SAF/MRM
Ms Linda Stephens-Jones, SAF/MRM
Brig Gen Hepburn, AF/SG


1st: The IG complaint will remain within IG channels and be investigated—separate and distinct from the initiatives outlined by Lt Gen Newton. Lt Gen Newton is hoping that some of the AF families concerned would be agreeable and available to his group, to share information and requirements—but that interface will not impede the IG processes.

2nd: Lt Gen Newton appointed Ms Barbara Barger (SES) to take lead in establishing an enduring Air Force Enterprise EFM Program. To that end, she has been granted unilateral authorities to task across the Air Staff, for support. Lt Gen Newton wants “action” – and soon. He stated his hope is to have the opportunity to declare to all that the Air Force has an EFM Program that satisfies the needs of Air Force families, from accession to retirement.

Ms Barger asked me if either of you would be agreeable to speak with her directly, so she can get your perspectives. She’s also very interested in hearing from the other concerned AF families as well. Based on Lt Gen Newton’s directed timeline, she was wondering if you would have any time before the holidays to make contact with her.

For your information, Ms Barger can be contacted via email: or phone: 703-614-1345. She seems very committed to building this program—and she is also very eager to hear from as many of the 15 AF families (and more) as would be willing to speak with her.

v/r – Col Jacobson”