FORT LEE, Va. – “Focused assistance that meets the needs of military members and their families” is the stated outcome of a recent Army Community Service restructuring effort here.
A new sign outside the annex entrance to the facility is the clearest indicator of the changes. It reads “ACS Annex Family Readiness Center,” and it is where a team of specialists is ready to assist community members with every possible need, according to FRC Manager Kimberly Evans.
ACS specialists, she elaborated, take a holistic, customer-based approach to ensure Fort Lee military families are aware of need-specific, individually tailored resources on and off the installation.
Thus, the “new way of doing business,” she continued, is to provide tailored, specific and responsive access to programs, services and resources essential to patrons who also include retirees and Department of the Army Civilians.
“ACS specialist team members are multifunctional individuals with the professional knowledge to assess, tailor and prioritize ACS services to meet the very specific needs of the Fort Lee community,” Evans said. “They are responsible for gathering customer information and determining which ACS programs and community resources are a best fit for the individual and, if applicable, his or her family.”
“Everyone is not in the same place, nor does everyone have the same degree of needs,” pointed out ACS Specialist Frenchi Watts Kemp. “So, we’re no longer serving a smorgasbord of services to every person, with every visit. We’re sitting down with individuals, listening intently to their needs, and identifying resources and services that are best suited for each person, in each moment.”
“What’s unique to me about our position is the opportunity to provide assistance, counseling, education and the ability to work hands-on with Soldiers and military families around the world,” observed ACS Specialist Bobby Brown.
The newest member of the now four-person ACS specialist team is Jessica Naccarato who came on board in late September. She expressed how thrilled she is about her new role and the new way of delivering client/customer services.
“I think it will help us eliminate client frustration as some resources can be confused with others and customers may have experienced being unnecessarily connected with support services that are not actually needed,” Naccarato said. “If we do our jobs correctly, we can help eliminate that wasted time, which equates to money.”
While the restructuring has Fort Lee ACS patrons initially being directed to the ACS specialist team for a streamlined customer care approach, Evans said they are still guaranteed – depending on their needs – to be connected with familiar ACS services and programs such as the Family Advocacy, Financial Readiness, Army Emergency Relief and Relocation Readiness Programs.
“Our goal will always be to provide the services and resources our service members and families members need to ensure they are ready and resilient,” Evans said.