FORT BELVOIR, Va. - Fort Belvoir's Army Family Team Building program is set to begin a new series of classes aimed at allowing spouses and family members to understand what their Soldiers do on a daily basis.

AFTB is a 13-year-old program designed to allow members of the military community an opportunity to learn about life in the military and provides an environment catered to understanding military life.

It consists of three different level courses, covering topics ranging from ranks of the military and the military alphabet to community relations and child education.

The program is open to military spouses, Soldiers, civilians, and anyone else who has a connection to the Army.

Level I is an introduction to military life and covers military customs, acronyms and other basic information.

Level II is the personal development phase of the program. It covers topics ranging from time management to other essential personal skills.

Level III develops leadership skills for all the students.

Colandra Sealey, AFTB program manager at Army Community Service, explained the program's general idea.

"AFTB is a program that is volunteer-led and we provide 34 free classes broken down into the three levels," Sealey said. "Once a participant has completed all three levels, they are eligible to go through our three-day instructor training course and become instructors of the program.

"We are always looking for instructors, especially those who have participated in the program at other installations like Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell," Sealey said. "This allows us to get fresh ideas for the program from other installations."

Michela Vigil went through the program after coming to America from her native Italy with her Army husband and is a current volunteer AFTB instructor.

"This program did a lot for me. We moved here last July and it was my first time in another country, my husband was working and I was always by myself," Vigil said. "I came here for the Level 1 course with a dictionary because my English wasn't great and I was extremely shy at the time. The program has really allowed me to grow and I continue that today as a volunteer."

Fort Belvoir Army Family Team Meeting has a Level I, evening class scheduled for Aug. 10-12 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

A Level III class is scheduled for Sept. 14-16 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with childcare reservations due by Sept. 3. Children must be registered with Child, Youth and School Services.

Class registration and childcare reservations, for parents who want to attend, are available by calling Colandra Sealey, 703-805-5556, or via e-mail to
AFTB classes are free.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16