Area I moving to set up council for its retirees
October 19, 2012
By Franklin Fisher
CAMP RED CLOUD -- Retirees in Warrior Country will soon be able to have regular meetings with Area I officials to voice concerns and seek help on a broad range of retiree-related issues.
Those eventual meetings will come as the U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I moves to set up an Area I retiree council. It would serve as a forum through which the garrison can support a retiree community that numbers about 200 or so retirees and about 1,200 of their dependents.
Col. John M. Scott, USAG Red Cloud and Area I commander, has sent word to the 8th Army Retiree Council "to let them know that he'd be more than happy to start getting this retiree council going up in Area I," said Hugo Sinclair, USAG Red Cloud and Area I's director of Human Resources.
"We're looking at the next 60 to 90 days to have an actual retiree council meeting going," said Sinclair.
Under Army regulations, garrisons like USAG Red Cloud must maintain an active retiree council that meets regularly, he said.
"So that retirees can share their ideas, as far as communicating to the community and the commander what retirees see as important," he said.
At the same time, the garrison leadership can gain insight into how to best serve the retirees within their community, Sinclair said.
"Showing up and listening to them and providing them whatever supports are needed to help them live and survive here in Korea," is what the garrison's main role would be, he said.
In addition, the garrison will be able to help ensure that the retirees are put in contact with the U.S. Army Installation Management Command's Retirement Services Office at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. Its retirement services officers, or RSOs, provide information and other help to military retiree communities throughout Korea.
That help typically involves such matters as survivor benefit plans, visas and passports, medical and dental care, vehicle registration, and postal service, among many others, said Carl Reed, a retirement services officer who works out of the Yongsan office.
The Retirement Services Office and the garrison will be working together closely to establish the Area I retiree council, officials said.
Meanwhile, the garrison has added to its official website a link to the Retirement Service Office, Sinclair said.
Reed said he looks forward to an eventual meeting with Scott to eye what steps to take in getting the council up and running.
A key first step will be finding who in the Area I retiree community will be willing to be a part of the council, he said.
"That's the major step," said Reed. "At a minimum you have to have a chairman, a co-chairman and a secretary."
Apart from its plans to create a retiree council, Area I honored retirees with a special gathering outside the Camp Casey Exchange Oct. 5. The event featured a cake-cutting, prize drawings, and remarks by the USAG Casey commander, Lt. Col. Steven G. Finley, who expressed appreciation for the retirees and their presence in the Warrior Country community.