<b> FORT STEWART, GA --</b> Two of the Army Family Covenant's most important goals are to improve Family programs and services and expand employment opportunities. Even before there was a covenant, these goals were already being met or exceeded by Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield's Directorate of Human Resources, according to DHR's executive officer, Judy Waynick.

"It's our job to take care of Soldiers and their Families," Waynick said. "If the covenant did anything, it allowed us to focus more on Families and give priority to surviving spouses and next of kin."

The list of services provided by DHR is a long one, but if it's an administrative service, it's safe to say it probably starts with DHR - in-processing, out-processing, finance, retirement, reassignment processing, records, identification cards, civilian employment, reserve component transition, separation transition, household goods transportation and casualty assistance. All these services are provided at Stewart's 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy Soldier Center, building 253, or at Hunter, buildings 1209 and 1211.

Casualty assistance is one area Waynick is particularly interested in helping the public understand better. She admits being annoyed by news reports that mention casualty notification telegrams to Family members, which she said is just plain wrong. The Army has not used telegrams to notify Family members of a Soldier killed in action since the 1960's, she said. The Army is much more sensitive to the emotional needs of spouses and Family members today. Her office supports and assists surviving spouses and next of kin in every way they can.

Waynick said that before the Covenant was implemented, Stewart's ID card section had already gone to an appointment system and extended its hours, so it could end long waiting lines and better serve Soldiers and Families. Hours of operation for Stewart's ID card section are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment for a new ID card, call 767-4909. Hunter's ID card section, located in building 1209, still operates on a walk-in basis.

According to human resource specialist Carolyn Colon, civilian employment at Stewart or Hunter is handled by their office through separate agencies, depending on whether the position is an appropriated or non-appropriated funds position. Appropriated funds (civil service) positions are listed and can be applied for online through www.cpol.army.mil/ or www.usajobs.opm.gov. Colon advises job seekers of non-appropriated funds positions come by her office for job listings and application forms.

Kathy Manokey, transportation assistant for DHR is an important person to know for transportation of household goods. She assists Soldiers with transportation of inbound or outbound household goods, do-it-yourself moves and deployment storage. For those who incur personal expense for damaged property, Manokey said Congress has now mandated that Soldiers will be reimbursed for the full value of household goods damaged by the carrier during a permanent change of station move. The days of out-of-pocket expenses for PCS moves are gone.

For information about DHR or a specific service provided by their office, call 912-767-5630.

Page last updated Fri June 27th, 2008 at 18:40