ACS means education, support, direction in planning your future
February 20, 2008
Inside this fast-paced military environment, Soldiers often need a break to broaden their personal and professional skills.
The Army Community Service program offers classes for Soldiers and Families to take that extra step to learn some of life's core skills.
"Those individuals that can cope and enjoy Army life are more likely to contribute to the community, enhance readiness, and encourage retention," said Heejung Sackett, 2nd Infantry Division ACS Family Advocacy specialist.
ACS facilities are located on each U.S. Army Garrison throughout 2ID.
Each advisor in the program is trained through the Army, and often has a degree in the field in which they teach.
The program is less of a classroom setting and more of a discussion group, where everyone speaks of their personal experiences and learns from each other and the ACS advisor.
"When I sense that Soldiers become more confident about themselves in terms of being in charge of their lives, I feel I gave something good back to our community," said Sackett. "However, believe or not, I have learned so many lessons and wisdom from my clients and students."
The program offers solutions to problems, advice and support by providing classes. The classes include the Army Volunteer Corps, Army Family Action Plan, Army Family Team Building, Family Advocacy, Relocation and Deployment Readiness, Employment Readiness and Financial Readiness. They also offer information for the U.S. Visa application process in Korea.
A Soldier or Family member may go to any local ACS installation and speak with an advisor. Advisors are flexible to the Family member's or Soldier's schedule as often as they can. The classes are scheduled upon the person's request or they may attend a class previously scheduled.
"Sometimes it is hard for Soldiers to come because they have field training exercises," said Gwendolyn McCarthy, Financial Readiness manager and Army Emergency Relief officer. "But the chain of command keeps us up to date on when the Soldiers will be able to attend the class again."
Along with the discussions, Soldiers may receive books and pamphlets concerning a specific subject and can even earn promotion points for attending the classes. Soldiers needs a DA Form 87 signed by the installation ACS director to receive the promotion points.
The classes provide an escape from the hectic work environment. Rather than focusing on personal issues, Soldiers can focus their full attention on the mission.
Providing Soldiers throughout 2ID with educational material, advice and support is a continuing goal for ACS.