Margo Kwasnoski, a military spouse, listens to a speaker during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
1 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Margo Kwasnoski, a military spouse, listens to a speaker during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
James Brockman, deputy director of the California Medical Detachment, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
2 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – James Brockman, deputy director of the California Medical Detachment, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
Scott Huntley, Presidio of Monterey police officer, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
3 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Scott Huntley, Presidio of Monterey police officer, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
Misty Gilbert, front, a military spouse, listens to a speaker during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
4 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Misty Gilbert, front, a military spouse, listens to a speaker during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
Angelica Sagastume, a work and family life specialist for the Navy Fleet and Family Support Center at La Mesa Village in Monterey, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
5 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Angelica Sagastume, a work and family life specialist for the Navy Fleet and Family Support Center at La Mesa Village in Monterey, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
Marlen Lucero, a military spouse, listens during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23, as her daughter, Scarlet, 2, plays.
6 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Marlen Lucero, a military spouse, listens during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23, as her daughter, Scarlet, 2, plays. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
Charles Lyons, program specialist for Army Community Service and Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation organizer, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
7 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Charles Lyons, program specialist for Army Community Service and Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation organizer, speaks during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sonia Lin, a community volunteer and teacher, speaks about Soldier and Family Readiness Groups during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23.
8 / 8 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sonia Lin, a community volunteer and teacher, speaks about Soldier and Family Readiness Groups during the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation at the General Stilwell Community Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Aug. 23. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2021) – As a military spouse for 18 years, Margo Kwasnoski knows the value of attending a military spouse orientation at a new duty station.

“I always feel as though I have so much to learn,” said Kwasnoski, who arrived here three weeks ago and was one of about a dozen spouses who attended the Presidio of Monterey Military Spouse Orientation Aug. 23. “Every assignment is unique and different and poses different challenges.”

The orientation included 12 in-person briefings on a variety of subjects such as health care, housing and Army Community Service programs, and took place in the General Stilwell Community Center at the Ord Military Community. Participants observed COVID 19 mitigation measures such as wearing masks, social distancing and using hand sanitizer.

Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Londers, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey, told spouses that installation officials organized the orientation to help ensure they receive important information that will improve their lives at PoM.

“Our service members are the strength of our nation, but the strength of our service members are their families,” Londers said. “If there’s anything that we can do to provide services and support to make your tour here at the Presidio of Monterey better, it’s what we’re here for.”

Military spouse orientations are important because while service members participate in the Joint Services In-Processing Briefing when they arrive at PoM, they don’t always share that information with their spouses, Londers said.

The orientation lasted two and a half hours and included a variety of food and drink for participants. Organizers also made toys available in the back of the room so parents could bring their children.

Several spouses indicated that PoM was their first duty station, and among them was Emily Daub, a military spouse whose husband attended basic training in February.

Daub said she learned a lot of useful information and appreciated that organizers printed presentation slides so she would have phone numbers handy.

“A lot of the information would have been helpful to know [before we moved here], but even now, it’s helpful to have the information now going forward to future stations as well as continuing here,” Daub said.

Kwasnoski, meanwhile, said she thinks organizers struck the right balance of information and did not overwhelm new military spouses with too much.

“It’s a lot to take in … so it can be very overwhelming, but I think it was very good, a nice welcoming environment and friendly faces,” Kwasnoski said. “And even if somebody doesn’t retain everything, at least they have a contact.”

Charles Lyons, a PoM Army Community Service program specialist and the orientation’s organizer, said this is the installation’s second military spouse orientation, and he plans to hold them monthly. The next one is from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 20, also at the General Stilwell Community Center.

Military spouse orientations are important because they help spouses know about services available to them within the military community, Lyons said.

“They come and get this information and it builds resiliency in families,” Lyons said.

To register for the next PoM Military Spouse Orientation, contact Lyons at (831) 242-6890 or email charles.a.lyons.civ@mail.mil. Registration is required.