Newcomers orientation provides Soldiers knowledge of resources
April 19, 2013
Soldiers new to Fort Belvoir received information on resources available to them on post during Army Community Service Relocation Readiness Program's Newcomers Orientation at Wallace Theater, Tuesday morning.
The goal of the orientation was to make Soldiers and Families aware of the resources available to them in a time of need, according to Tammy Braddy, Relocation Readiness relocation specialist.
"Fort Belvoir has many important resources for Soldiers and Families," Braddy said. "They shouldn't be looking for a resource in the time of a crisis. They should know how to access it."
Information was presented on ACS programs like the Family Advocacy program's Scream Free Parenting and New Parent Support Program, educational opportunities at Barden Education Center from degree programs to aptitude tests, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, the Army Career and Alumni Program, and volunteer opportunities with Fort Belvoir's Red Cross office.
Braddy likes to present employment, education and child care opportunities to Soldiers and Families early in the orientation because that is the information they are most interested in.
"Soldiers can focus on their jobs knowing their Family is taken care of," she said.
The information given out by the ACS Family Advocacy program on child care options, DFMWR's children's activities and options for single Soldiers were helpful for Sgt. Elizabeth Watson, Fort Belvoir Public Health Command animal care specialist.
"I have two young children, so I can use the New Parent Support Program to my benefit," said Watson. "Plus, it will be good to get my son into some of the child sports options through DFMWR."
Watson has also used information at newcomer's orientations at previous duty stations and believes every Soldier new to an installation should do the same.
"It's important information and it's good information," said Watson. "Being new to an area, it's information you need so you know what's available for you and your Family, if you have one."
Lt. Col. Brian Zarchin, Headquarters Battalion commander, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Chester D. Grelock gave the opening remarks. Zarchin asked how many of the Soldiers had been deployed, and if any of them had been deployed multiple times. He said they could relax during their time here.
Grelock encouraged the Soldiers to take advantage of living on post because "my commute to work only gets delayed when I stop at a stop sign."
The newcomer's orientation is an opportunity for Fort Belvoir to make a good first impression on incoming Soldiers and Families. Braddy hopes she and the presenters accomplished that goal.
"Hopefully, everyone left knowing how to access resources they need," said Braddy. "If they haven't, then we didn't accomplish our goal."