FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 2, 2009) -- Soon, every garrison Army Community Service or ACS center will have master trainers to train others in the best methods of instructing, briefing and facilitating.

ACS centers serve as an installation's primary coordinating resource agency, and provide a multitude of community-based services that foster growth, development, and readiness of families assigned to the installation.

"Since its inception in 2007, there has been great excitement and anticipation in the field to be part of this program," explained Cathy Speer, ACS training standardization program manager. "One of the goals of the Army Family Covenant is to standardize family programs as a means of improving family readiness, ACS has moved many steps forward in meeting the Army's goal."

The ACS Master Trainer Course is a train-the-trainer course where Master Trainers are certified to instruct the ACS Instructor Training Course, Briefer Training Course, and Facilitator Training Course at their installations and certify local instructors, briefers, and facilitators.

Beginning with pilot programs at U.S. Army Garrisons Fort Gordon, Ga., Fort Bragg, N.C., Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., Fort Wainright, Alaska, and Weisbaden and Baumholder in Germany in July 2008, Master Trainers have had the opportunity to increase the proficiency of instructors, facilitators and briefers by providing training to their colleagues through these local training courses.

The DA initiative prepares select staff members from every ACS center, Army-wide, and family programs personnel from the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve to become master trainers. Upon graduation from the ACS Master Trainer Course, staff will then conduct training in the areas of instructing, briefing, and facilitating.

For new staff members it is an opportunity to learn, and for seasoned staff members it is an opportunity to hone skill sets. The overall goal of this new program is to ensure military members and their families receive dynamic and professional instruction and briefings on ACS programs and services.

The two-day Instructor Training Course covers topics such as how to be an effective instructor, platform skills, the adult learner audience, managing the learning environment, methods of instruction, and the preparation process.

The Briefer Training Course covers introduction to effective briefings, sharpening your briefing skills, and making briefings your own.

The Facilitator Training Course offers classes covering facilitation and the facilitator, the ABCs of facilitation, start to finish, and facilitating the group.

(Rob McIlvane writes for the Family and MWR Command Public Affairs Office.)