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Strong Bonds: For the Unit Commander

Looking for ways to support your Soldiers?

Talk to your unit chaplain about scheduling
a Strong Bonds event.

Recognizing the importance of Army Families, Army chaplains initiated relationship skills-building training and support in 1997.  Since then, Strong Bonds has grown and developed into a sharply focused, prevention-oriented program available to active duty, Guard, and Reserve Soldiers and their Families.

Let Strong Bonds help you support your Soldiers by:

  • Enhancing the relationships of your married Soldiers.
  • Assisting your single Soldiers in developing healthy relationships.
  • Promoting life skills for all of your Families.
  • Preparing your unit for the challenges of deployment.

Strong Bonds builds solid family foundations
and more mission-focused Soldiers.

What Does Strong Bonds Offer?  

Four Specialized Programs to Meet Your Unit's Needs

  1. Strong Bonds Single Soldier:  Focuses on the skills of finding the right partner and building a great relationship.  
  2. Strong Bonds Couples:  Strengthens the marital bond, giving couples the tools and information they need for better communication and relationship building.
  3. Strong Bonds Family:  Teaches Family members to work together to ensure Army Families stay close during trying times.
  4. Strong Bonds Pre- and Re-Deployment:  Provides the tools to enable Soldiers and Families to stay close during deployment and to reintegrate after a long separation.


 Chaplains lead the programs and work with commanders to schedule training in accordance with the deployment cycle. This gives Soldiers and their Families time to use new skills before deployment.


Why Plan a Strong Bonds Event?  

Ten Compelling Reasons to Plan a Strong Bonds Event

  1. Strong Bonds enables Soldiers to stay focused on the mission, improving readiness and retention.
  2. Strong Bonds helps to demonstrate the Army’s commitment to its Soldiers and Families.
  3. Strong Bonds strengthens family bonds by building trust and integrity, just as the Warrior Ethos unites the team.
  4. Strong Bonds is cost-effective: retaining one first-term Soldier saves $60,000 in recruitment and training costs.
  5. Strong Bonds is easy to implement: chaplains work with commanders to recruit participants and lead training.
  6. Strong Bonds training creates a support group for Soldiers and Families that share deployment cycles.
  7. Strong Bonds renews Soldiers and Families with an off-site weekend retreat.
  8. Strong Bonds assesses the health and well-being of Soldiers’ relationships.
  9. Strong Bonds promotes access community resources to prevent crisis and to preserve relationships.
  10. Strong Bonds ensures Army children grow up in healthy Army Families.


Want to Know More?  
Who is the proponent for Strong Bonds?

Strong Bonds is a key program for Commanders and should be incorporated as part of Soldier readiness and retention initiatives.

The Army Chief of Chaplains is the proponent for the Army’s Strong Bonds Program. It is a preventative skills-based relationship building program, led by Army Chaplains designed to assist commanders in building, strengthening, preserving and restoring Army Families.

Specialized training for single Soldiers and units being deployed or redeployed is also conducted by Unit Ministry Teams (UMTs).
What are my responsibilities as the unit commander?

  • Resource and execute planned Strong Bonds training in accordance with requirements established in the annual Strong Bonds Memorandum of Instruction (MOI)..

  • Seek program funding from the appropriate component, as needed.

  • Designate unit chaplain as the primary Strong Bonds trainer.

  • Support Soldier attendance and ensure training events are included on unit training schedules.

  • Coordinate participation by Unit Ministry Teams to market and promote Strong Bonds at community events, officer professional development training, NCO professional development training, Family Readiness Group meetings, etc.

How are Strong Bonds events funded?

The authority to expend funds for implementing the Strong Bonds Program is contained in Title 10, United States Code Section 1789 and paragraph 1-16g, AR 165-1.

Commanders are authorized and encouraged to utilize locally available appropriated funds as needed to support the program. Supplemental funding may also be available from the Office of the Chief of Chaplains (OCCH) for active component units, US Army Reserve Command (USARC) Chaplains Office for reserve component units and the National Guard Bureau Office of the Chaplain for Army National Guard (ARNG) units.