Fort Bragg AFAP outbrief highlights concerns
October 30, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Delegates of officers, enlisted personnel, spouses, retirees and civilians participated in the 2009 Army Family Action Plan outbrief, at the Fort Bragg Officers' Club Oct. 21.
Among the attendees were Maj. Gen. Jeffery W. Hammond, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg interim commanding general, Col. Stephen J. Sicinski, garrison commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Sultan A. Muhammad, garrison command sergeant major.
The Fort Bragg AFAP is an annual event held every October to address issues and concerns affecting the Fort Bragg Community.
"It is a program the Army has put into place to allow Families and Soldiers to bring problems to leadership and provide their solutions to improve their quality of life," said Kari Gonzalez, AFAP program manager.
"Issues presented here that are beyond the leadership scope here on Fort Bragg will get forwarded to Forces Command," Gonzalez said.
Forty-eight delegates and 22 volunteers made up the six work groups, including the youth group. The work groups represented Family support, medical, single Soldiers, Warrior Transition Battalion and consumer services and benefits. These groups found 38 issues to discuss on Fort Bragg.
"We send a memorandum of instruction in July to task all the units to provide delegates," Gonzalez said. "We basically try to get all the demographics in the Fort Bragg community."
The benefits workgroup discussed the standards of Soldiers' Families in older homes compared to newer homes on Fort Bragg.
According to Michael Carr, spokesman for the benefits workgroup, a monetary incentive
offered to Soldiers' Families who accept older housing on post is recommended.
While some delegates brought forth their issues in a straightforward manner, others offered a more unorthodox approach.
The medical workgroup performed a skit addressing the medical enrollment program at the Womack Army Medical Center. The skit, complete with baby doll and actors portraying parents, specifically targeted waiting times for new parents.
"The enrollment process for newborn infants in the (Defense Eligibilty Enrollment Reporting System) is problematic for parents," said Leslie Herron, spokesperson for the medical workgroup. "It can be for several reasons such as the need for child care."
The single Soldier workgroup addressed the issues of Soldiers not being well educated on the procedural inconsistencies with the First Sergeants Barracks Initiative that affect the quality of life in the barracks.
According to Jonathan Cole, spokesman for the single Soldiers workgroup, providing greater access and education of FSBI policies and establishing a company level point of contact for work orders is recommended.
The chain of command reaffirmed the need to provide a strong quality of life for single Soldiers living in the barracks.
"The Army has to provide a suitable home setting for a single Soldier that meets the Army standard, quality of life and mission readiness," Hammond said.
Its starts with leadership at the junior noncommissioned officer level, Hammond said. Soldiers need to get their leaders engaged so measures can be taken to resolve issues with barracks living conditions.
The WTB workgroup discussed the lack of Central Issue Facility issue for WTB Soldiers which leaves those Soldiers without any weather gear.
According to Jeff Davis, spokesman for the WTB workgroup, a standard CIF issue for WTB Soldiers per climate zone is recommended.
The garrison commander responded to the need for WTB Soldiers to be given a basic issue.
"The lack of issue will be fixed for Soldiers in the WTB," Sicinski said.
Hammond thanked the delegates and volunteers for their hard work in putting the program together at the end of the outbrief.