Army Community Service celebrates 48 years of assisting families
July 26, 2013
By Alex Dixon
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 26, 2013) --- Then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Harold K. Johnson sent a letter to all major commands, July 25, 1965, announcing the establishment of Army Community Service.
By 1969, there were 155 Army Community Service, known as ACS, centers worldwide, located wherever American Soldiers served.
Providing services to help Soldiers and their families, today ACS operates on 78 Army installations. ACS provides support to wounded warriors and their families. It conducts family team building, provides relocation assistance and financial readiness counseling.
"Army Community Service offers a comprehensive array of programs and services dedicated to maintaining the readiness of Soldiers, families and communities by fostering self-reliance, resilience, and stability," said Lynn L. McCollum, director of family programs for the Army's Installation Management Command.
ACS continued the traditions of Army spouses who operated lending closets, thrift shops, and nurseries prior to 1940. However, many of these social-service activities disappeared when the originators transferred or left the service.
Now, ACS offers a network of services and programs such as employment and relocation support, and programs to assist Soldiers and their families with financial affairs, McCollum said in an email.
McCollum said ACS will leverage technology to provide programs and services to meet the needs of Soldiers in the future and that Army budget cuts won't affect ACS too badly.
"Army leadership is very sensitive to sustaining support to family programs," McCollum said.
Below is a list of the programs and services ACS offers:
• Army Family Action Plan
• Army Family Team Building
• Army OneSource
• Army Volunteer Corps
• Exceptional Family Member
• Family Advocacy
• Financial Readiness
• Information and Referral
• New Parent Support
• Relocation Readiness
• Sexual Assault and Response
• Soldier and Family Assistance Center
• Spouse Employment
• Survivor Outreach Services
• Transitional Compensation
• Victim Advocacy