FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Fort Bragg is hosting a rodeo. While it's not the kind with horses, Brahma bulls or cowboys, this rodeo is no less important.

The Fort Bragg military pay office is gearing up for its annual finance rodeo, which will take place Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., at Sports USA.

The event will serve as a one-stop location that allows Soldiers and other military members to take care of any finance concerns they may have, including MyPay personal identification number resets, pay inquiries and pre-deployment decisions.

According to Rose Edwards, customer service supervisor at the Fort Bragg Military Pay office, the event is geared towards ensuring that Fort Bragg residents have minimal finance problems.

"We're trying to capture the whole military community, including retirees," explained Edwards. The event will be used to help ensure that all financial needs of Soldiers or other community members are met.

Edwards said that while customers may be used to their office being located in the old bank building, they also have a customer service office in the 82nd Airborne Division area.

"There are a lot of things that Soldiers may need adjusted and they can't get it done, now we're trying to come out to the community to serve, not only active-duty, but retirees as well. Another thing that we can also do is assist them with telephone numbers and the correct procedures on what they need to do," she added.

She said the event is also looking to capture the attention of younger Soldiers who may not know how to deal with pay issues or where to go to speak with a customer service representative.
"That's why we're coming out to them," Edwards explained. "They don't have to come to a specific office building, it's comfortable at Sports USA and when you come, we'll try to do as much as we can for you."

Edwards said one requirement for all who attend is to have the appropriate documents.
Some necessary documents include: ID/common access cards, pay inquiry form, and deployment entitlements, basic allowance for housing information (lease, birth certificate of one Family member) and bank information to assist with jump pay and other proficiency pay.

"We have so many Soldiers who may deploy, especially the ones who may have just gotten here. Maybe their unit didn't give them a chance to everything they needed to do to process in because of the upcoming deployment, but now they're deploying. Now we have to go over all of their entitlements because we know there are people out there that we need to capture," said Edwards.

The rodeo gives them the opportunity to come out and tell us what they need so that we can take care of it, Edwards said.

Edwards gave a realistic scenario on why it's important to take care of personal business, such as deployment benefit information, especially for newlywed Soldiers.

When a Soldiers first comes in the Army, more than likely, their parents are the beneficiaries," she explained. "Let's say three months after they arrive he decides to get married and deploys shortly afterward, without changing his benefit information and the Soldier is killed in action."

Edwards said her office then has to deal with the spouse, who wants to know why their in-laws received money as beneficiaries for the Soldier.

She said her office tries to educate them on how the system and regulations work.
This is the second finance rodeo and Edwards said they are looking to apply lessons learned from the first event.
She said the first rodeo was more of a short-notice event, but this one allowed them to plan more and prevent any shortcomings that were seen in the first one.

"Now we have an idea of who we are servicing and what are some of the types of problems we were forced with when they actually came in," Edwards said.

She also explained that if problems are identified to be consistent in one particular unit, they can now contact that unit and provides direct service.

Page last updated Fri February 18th, 2011 at 10:19