FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Soldiers and Families who visit Army Community Service can find a variety of free resources to improve their quality of life and build resiliency.

"Army Community Service offers services that foster growth, development and readiness of Soldiers, their Family members and Department of Defense civilians," said Sue Jackson, ACS director.

"ACS ensures that resources and information are readily available and obtainable for 'successful Army living' during times of peace and war," she continued. "ACS assists commanders in maintaining the readiness of Soldiers, Families and the community by developing, coordinating and delivering services that promote self-reliance, resiliency and stability."

The programs below are aimed at achieving these goals, Jackson said.

Financial Readiness Program

The Financial Readiness Program offers financial workshops and counseling.

Topics covered include debt management and reduction, home buying and selling, identify theft, credit management, budgeting, saving and investing, said Sharon Coley, FRP manager.

"We focus on improving the personal financial status of Soldiers and Families and their abilities to perform as informed consumers. We try to have something for everybody (including) those who might be having financial difficulties or those who are (financially stable and) trying to plan for the future," she said.

Upcoming free courses include a home buying and selling workshop on Aug. 28 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 284.

An investing workshop is Sept. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 284.

Identity theft is covered in a Sept. 23 event in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 371G, from noon to 1 p.m.
Participants must preregister for all events by calling 255-9631.

Employment Readiness Program

Employment Readiness Program staff offers servicemembers and their Families assistance in rAfAsumAfA and cover letter writing, job applications and job placement, said Debbie Gaydos, ERP manager.

"(The) Employment Readiness Program provides comprehensive, accurate, easily accessible and up-to-date information on area employment, training related to the employment search and education opportunities," she said. "ERP is a benefit to military-related individuals by enhancing job seeking skills and by providing training to equip individuals with the competitive edge needed to secure employment."

Gaydos helps clients improve their skills through a job search training workshop on Aug. 31, from 8:55 to 9:55 a.m., in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 371A.

For more information or to preregister, call 255-3949.

Survivor Outreach Services

Survivor Outreach Services staff assists fallen servicemembers' surviving relatives by offering support groups and referral services. Staff works with casualty notification officers, and provides services indefinitely after CNOs discontinue working with Families.

"The community strives to continue to embrace survivors with a commitment to never forget our fallen servicemembers and never leave behind their survivors," said Beth Gunter, SOS financial counselor. "(Staff acts) as advocates for survivors to ensure they are linked to the resources necessary to address their issues. It is our goal to let them know they are not alone (and offer) opportunities to share their common bond with other survivors."

Upcoming SOS events include a children's fishing trip with Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers on Sept. 11 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., said Gunter. Only SOS beneficiaries are eligible to participate and should register by Sept. 7.

SOS staff also provides a 13-week finance course called Financial Peace University, running Sept. 14 through Dec. 7 on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Small group discussions facilitate cash flow planning, eliminating debt and investing techniques, Gunter said. Survivors receive membership kits for free.

To register for either event or for more SOS information, call 255-2639 or 255-9637.

Army Family Action Plan

AFAP is a grassroots-level campaign designed to make improvements locally and Armywide.
The 26th annual conference is conducted here Oct. 5-6 at The Landing.

Soldiers, Families, retirees, surviving Family members and Department of the Army civilians are needed as volunteers and are asked to submit issues for discussion at the conference, according to Barbara Throckmorton, AFAP program manager.

Issue and volunteer forms can be picked up and submitted in the ACS office or at

For more information, call 255-2382.

People interested in exploring other ACS programs can visit Bldg. 5700, Rm. 390, or call 255-3817.