Course to hone senior spouses' skills
May 28, 2010
FORT CARSON, Colo.---A new Army Community Service course that begins June 9 is designed to enhance the skills senior spouses need for the leadership roles they hold during unit deployments.
While ACS has offered Family readiness group leader training for years, the two-day commander and first sergeant spouse seminar is geared specifically toward spouses of company commanders and first sergeants, who play more of a leadership role, said Nancy Montville, manager, Family Enrichment Program, ACS.
"They work on a team with their Family readiness support assistant, with rear detachment and ... the FRG. It's a team effort, and it's just to help them be able to do that better," she said. "(There) is a difference between the Family readiness group leader and being the senior spouse, because oftentimes the senior spouse will be the advisor for the FRG leader."
The training will be offered quarterly, correlating with an existing course for commanders and first sergeants. The pilot seminar is aimed toward current spouses of commanders and first sergeants, and later courses will be offered to spouses of new first sergeants or commanders, Montville said.
The course curriculum came from Department of the Army, but ACS will include input from experienced spouses and first sergeants during the pilot seminar. Subject matter experts including experienced spouses, military Family life consultants and chaplains will also be guest lecturers, Montville said.
While many of the spouses have had "on the job training" in such skills, this course is designed to enhance those skills, Montville said.
"I don't want to downplay the fact that maybe a lot of them already know these things," she said. "It's just to help enhance what they already know, because many of these spouses are already seasoned and know some of these things."
The course is designed for senior spouses, but there might be cases where the first sergeant or commander is single and can ask another spouse to take the volunteer leadership position.
"We will open it up to their appointed volunteer person who would be filling that role," she said. "There may also be Soldiers who have a spouse (who is) working and just doesn't want to do it, so it's not any kind of requirement."
In that case, the commander or first sergeant can refer their designated volunteer for the training, Montville said.
The first seminar runs 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 9-10 at ACS. For more information about the course, call ACS at 526-4590.