By Capt. Austin Liu, 6-52nd Air Defense Artillery, 35th ADA Brigade Public AffairsJuly 29, 2011
SUWON AIR BASE, South Korea - Army Community Service, commonly known as ACS, celebrated its 46 years of service July 25 at major U.S. Army installations around the world.
Here at Suwon Air Base, a small but memorable cake-cutting ceremony took place inside the ACS building.
Led by Bill Spearman, Suwon ACS manager, the leaders and Soldiers of the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery, joined by distinguished guests, took the time to commemorate the founding of this remarkable organization dedicated to serving military families for almost half a century.
As he was ready to cut the commemorative cake, Spearman told his guests, “Army Community Service was founded on the principle of serving those who serve, and 46 years later, with multiple ongoing conflicts, I am proud to see this tradition was not only faithfully carried on but also expanded to meet increasing demand.”
The crowd fervently applauded. Each one of them knew on a personal level the important role ACS plays in the daily lives of Soldiers and families.
Created by Lt. Gen. J. L. Richardson and Lt. Col. Emma Baird of the Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, during the turbulent years of 1960s, Army Community Service Program sought to address the unique needs of the American military families.
Spearman, a former Command Sergeant Major of the Army Corps of Engineers and Vietnam War veteran, continued, “Military families of the past, present and future face the challenges associated with not only the normal family life but also the special demands of the military … ACS has the important mission of assisting them in dealing with these challenges while improving family welfare.”
Some of the assistance Spearman was referring to included programs on relocation readiness, deployment and mobilization support, financial counseling, Family Advocacy, family employment services and the Exceptional Family Member Program.
With this impressive list of successful programs, ACS has proven itself to be a synonym to quality military family life.
“It’s all succinctly expressed in the organization’s motto,” said Spearman.
On the enlarged ACS banner above the cake were the following words: “Real-life solutions to successful Army living.”
Since retiring from the U.S. Army, Spearman has been serving in the Army Community Service for over a decade now. According to him, other than being in the military, there is no other job more fulfilling than his current position.
With the push for tour normalization and the improved command sponsorship program, Army Community Service plays an even greater role in the lives of military families stationed here in the Republic of Korea.
Some of the programs designed specifically for families overseas includes newcomer orientation, cross-cultural training, sponsorship training, host nation volunteer programs and lending-closet assistance.
In addition to the military families, there is another group that benefits greatly from the service of ACS.
According to Spearman, ACS “enhances unit commanders’ ability to provide comprehensive, coordinated and responsive service that supports the readiness of the Soldiers and their families, and ultimately, the unit’s mission readiness.”