The Badger Yellow Ribbon  (BYR) program is a key effort of the Wisconsin Service Member Support Division (SMSD). BYR coordinates informational events and activities for deploying members of the Wisconsin National Guard, their families, and community members. The program facilitates access to support services, information, education, and outreach opportunities as a way to continuously support the health and well-being of Soldiers and Airmen throughout the entire deployment cycle.


What exactly is the “Deployment Cycle”?
The deployment cycle starts before the actual mobilization when units or individuals receive official notification of deployment overseas or in the continental United States. The cycle includes the time service members are away from their military families and civilian employment, plans for homecoming reunions & reintegrating into civilian life, and then, provides for follow up at specific intervals after the deployment.
Tell Me More About a BYR Event!
Not all BYR events are the same. Each event is tailored to the needs of the unit based on the particular phase of the deployment cycle. That means you can expect different information and resources at “pre-Mobilization” events compared to the “reunion” or “re-integration” events. Soldiers, Airmen, and families have different experiences throughout the deployment cycle and BYR coordinates need bases resources and services bringing them together all at one location. The BYR Program Director and her team work closely with the unit leaders to plan the event. Part of the planning process is to communicate important information to unit members and families. Location and venue are determined by a number of deploying service member, parents, siblings, children, and designated points of contact (POC), i.e. your bestie, neighbor, significant other, etc.
Register Early for BYR Events!
It is important to register for each BYR event at least 10 days prior to each event. Don’t forget to include information for children that will be attending. We use this information to plan fun things to do, gather supplies, and schedule staff for both child care and the youth activities. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with additional information. Important note #1: We employ a licensed nanny service to provide childcare for ages 0-5 so you can enjoy the event without worry. The  SMSD Child and Youth Program (CYP) plans exciting, relevant, and age-appropriate activities for children ages 6-17. Army National Guard families can be reimbursed for mileage to/from the event if they travel outside their home zip code. Attendees from other service components should check with their units about possible reimbursement. Lodging may be provided for multi-day events when travel is greater than 50 miles or for single day events when travel is more than three hours.
Who Is My Family?
For BYR, the definition of “Family” is greatly expanded. So, whoever  is in your circle of trust and is pretty much there for you when you need them, they fit perfectly in the BYR definition of family.

Find Upcoming BYR Events

Badger Yellow Ribbon Program Director

Vicki Cushman-Edgren