A pilot, experimental program crafted to help noncommissioned officers better understand the financial dynamics of their Soldiers and Family members is now available on Fort Leonard Wood.

The Command Financial Noncommissioned Officer Program, or CFNCOP, is an instructional and self-paced program designed to provide the knowledge and skills to be a certified CFNCO at the unit level.

The program helps noncommissioned officers accomplish several goals, including:

-- Referring Soldiers and Family members with complicated financial problems to Financial Readiness, Army Community Service.

-- Conducting financial readiness and consumer affairs training as part of the program.

-- The ability to provide counseling and advice to individual Soldiers and Family members upon a Soldier's entry and departure from the unit.

-- The ability to review or establish a basic personal financial budget on each new Soldier as they arrive in the unit.

-- Knowledge of how UCMJ actions and punishment will affect the Soldier and Family members.

According to Jerry Patton, ACS Financial Readiness manager, the program is not an Army or ACS program, however, ACS is making it available for units desiring the assistance.

"The program has been an effective means by which leadership can engage assigned Soldiers on their finances on several installations," Patton said.

During the program, NCOs attend an initial four-hour introduction. Participants are required to attend all the financial classes provided by ACS and take four tests as they complete portions of their workbook. After completion of all required training and passing tests, they receive three hours of one-on-one counseling by an ACS financial counselor.

"The ACS director refers to the program like a combat medic -- those NCOs (provide first aide) with the Soldier's financial areas and (if they require further help) refer the hard cases here to ACS," Patton said.

The CFNCOP held their first training in January, and the next training is scheduled for April. For more information, or to register, contact Patton at 573.596.0131, ext. 60212.