By Scott SturkolJanuary 7, 2019
Since December 2018, Jaime Herrera Sr. has been on the job supporting the Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS) office in building 2111 as a new program manager.
Herrera, a retired Army sergeant first class, supports mobilization/deployment readiness, Army Family Action Plan (AFAP), and Army Family Team-Building activities at ACS.
For mobilization and deployment readiness, Herrera provides assistance to Soldiers, civilians, and family members to maintain individual readiness throughout the Army Force Generation cycle.
"The training I provide is designed to help Soldiers and their families cope with the personal, family, and financial demands of a deployment," Herrera said. "I also provide training and resources to commanders, rear detachment cadre, Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders, and family readiness support assistants.
With AFAP, Herrera supports a program designed to give a platform to voice quality-of-life issues, feedback, ideas, and suggestions by ACS customers.
"It's the best way to let Army leadership know about what works, what doesn't, and how you think problems can be resolved," Herrera said. "We give active- and reserve-component Soldiers, Army civilians, retirees, survivors, and family members a primary tool to help identify issues and concerns and shape your standards of living."
The Army Family Team-Building that Herrera manages is a program that empowers Soldiers and their families through self-development and Army knowledge to maximize their personal and professional potential, Herrera said. "This enhances readiness which is the ultimate goal for any military unit," he said.
Herrera also is chairman of the Wisconsin Inter-service Family Assistance Committee (ISFAC). ISFAC is a voluntary military community cooperative or partnership organized to allow service providers to engage in networking and connect service and family members, veterans, and Wounded Warriors with local military and community resources.
"We have quarterly meetings and they are open for all to attend," Herrera said. "This is the best opportunity to learn about military assistance programs, and I encourage everyone to come and check it out."
Having served 20 years in the Army in many facets, Herrera said he understands what most military members go through.
"Having served on active duty with several deployments, I can directly relate to the issues of Soldiers and families in regards to readiness," he said. "One of the biggest advantages so far is that I speak Army fluently which allows me to really connect with my clients."
Herrera said the training he can provide to commanders, key leaders, Soldiers and family members is vital to mission success.
"Soldiers need a clear head when training or while deployed," Herrera said. "Too often, Soldiers of all ranks are distracted by what may or may not be happening at home. The results are usually catastrophic. I want to do everything within my scope to ensure Soldiers and their families are prepared for any situation. I want them know ACS is here for them when they need us.
"Being prepared and having the necessary support is the cornerstone of any military operation, whether it is on the war or the home front," he continued. "Without in-depth preparation and the support to keep up the fight, we are doomed to fail. That is why my programs reach out and affect every stage of the Army Force Generation cycle."
Herrera added Army Community Service is an often over-looked resource and wants to raise more awareness about ACS capabilities.
"The training, assistance, and opportunities we provide is huge asset to our community," Herrera said. "People are often surprised to find out just how much we provide. I was one of those people. We run morale activities in our wood shop, and we offer playtime and social development for children in our amazing family services building filled with toys and activities.
"We also offer military family life counseling, employment help, volunteer opportunities, financial counseling, and support with Army Emergency Relief," Herrera said. "We also have an extensive loan closet for relocating families we even have a comfortable library with books on just about any topic. Come check us out and learn all about what we can do for you."