Black Jack Launches new Family Readiness site on Army Knowledge Online
May 6, 2008
Usually when a change happens, it's for a reason, and lately, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team's Family Readiness Group has been making some "user-friendly" changes. Laurie Siegel, the Black Jack Brigade's Family Readiness Support assistant, announced the official launching of the Black Jack Brigade's Family Readiness Group website on the Army Knowledge Online network May 2. Siegel said the group had been using a different site that was cumbersome to update, slow and unattractive. Now, she said the new website offers a wealth of information for family members who want to stay connected with their Soldier and stay informed about what the Black Jack Brigade is up to. The new site has most of the same information as the old one but with several changes added. For instance, Siegel said, instead of having to subscribe to the brigade, battalion and company pages separately like on the last one, subscription to the new page gives the user access to everything all the way up to the 1st Cavalry Division FRG page. According to Siegel, in the past, every page on the virtual FRG site looked exactly the same and leaders weren't able to have much control of the appearance of their site. Now, with the new site, specified administrators within the battalion or company can edit the site's appearance and add things like an online store - much like what the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion did. Enrolling in the site is much easier than with the last site, Siegel said. Company commanders and leaders will have their Soldiers fill out a short information sheet with just the basic info. After which, the Soldier will be able to log into the AKO website (via common access card) and immediately use the main site. Family members enrolled into the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System can register through the AKO website. All other family members are encouraged to do the same; however, family members not in DEERS will have to wait while their Soldier or sponsor approves them. Siegel said it's now a very streamlined process that doesn't take long at all. Aside from the brigade site's grand opening, Siegel is also looking forward to the company-level sites' opening around the middle of the month. Siegel added that anyone wanting to sign up, sign family members up or get more information should get in touch with their FRG leaders or their chain of command.