By Mr. Kenneth Fidler (IMCOM)July 23, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - The Yongsan Readiness Center, the central inprocessing and orientation center for nearly everyone on orders to Korea, will start a new four-day program Aug. 1.
YRC officials reorganized the current five-day program into four days.
"We did this so we could get Soldiers out to their units faster," said Capt. Desiree Dirige, YRC commander. "After analyzing the schedule, we realized there was some down time that we could use better, and this makes more efficient use of Soldiers' time."
The YRC is designed to be a one-stop central inprocessing and orientation center for Soldiers and Civilians and their Families who will live in Areas II, III and IV. It first opened in August 2007 under an initiative by former USFK Commander Gen. B.B. Bell to provide in-depth orientation for newcomers to Korea.
While Soldiers must attend the entire four days, Civilians and Family Members must attend two of the four days.
Soldiers who will be assigned to 2nd Infantry Division will inprocess at the Warrior Readiness Center located at Camp Stanley, Dirige said.
New arrivals initially check in with the 1st Replacement Company, from arrival at the airport through the next full duty day, referred to as "Day 0." The YRC takes over from there.
"We call our four days of inprocessing Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta, respectively," Dirige explained. "They rotate and are not tied to any specific day of the week. If you arrive Tuesday evening, then Wednesday is your Day 0 with the 1RC and Thursday is your Day Alpha, Bravo, Charlie or Delta, depending on the briefing schedule for the current week."
Two days of orientation for Soldiers consist of briefings introducing them to policies, regulations, and readiness training inherent to Korea, including Department of the Army-mandated personal financial management training for first-term Soldiers.
Before, Soldiers would attend an extra day of required briefings that are now covered through an on-line training program. Soldiers must finish the on-line modules - which take about five hours - before arriving in Korea or complete them on their own time here before moving on to their units. The on-line training requires newcomers to review USFK command policies and read about Korea-specific topics, such as the Status of Forces Agreement and Korea laws and anti-terrorism awareness.
For Civilian Employees and Family Members, they join in on Charlie and Delta days, which focus on available family and community programs, ration card process and procedures, and Korean culture, including a trip to the Korean War Museum adjacent to Yongsan Main Post.
For Yongsan-based families, Army Community Service hosts an hour-long windshield tour of Yongsan Garrison, which began July 11.
"Everyone loves the cultural sessions," Dirige said. "The feedback we get shows that is the highlight of the training, and they want more."
Spouses, Civilians, and Family Members eligible for ration cards must attend Charlie and Delta days as a prerequisite to getting a ration card.
The YRC also has a free child-care facility on-site with a capacity of 15 children.
"The program has really become a family-friendly experience," Dirige said. "We want your first impressions of Korea to be positive."