By By Sgt. Aimee Millham, USAREUR Public Affairs OfficeNovember 28, 2007
HEIDELBERG, Germany - If you're wondering what your spouses mean when they say the ETA for dinner will be NLT 1900 hours, the Army Family Team Building program has just the class for you.
The program, part of Army Community Service, offers four levels of training that teach family members and Soldiers all there is to know about the Army, and about becoming leaders in their communities.
"(We're) teaching the Army one class at a time," said Diane Smith, U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg AFTB program manager.
The training - for Soldiers and civilians alike - allows students chose to complete one of the four AFTB levels or one of the classes within a level. For example, one of the Level 1 classes is "Military Acronyms and Terms." Someone interested in taking that class can do so without having to take all 10 classes that constitute Level 1.
Level 1 focuses on the basic skills and knowledge needed to better understand military life. Level 2 teaches participants how to grow into community leaders. Level 3 goes into inspiring and mentoring others to take on leadership positions. And finally, Level 4 is for those interested in becoming AFTB instructors.
Simone Larson says she chose to become an AFTB instructor when her husband deployed.
"They offered free child care," she said. "There are different things that lure you in, and as you get more and more involved in the class, they just really suck you in because it makes you want to learn more."
She added that the skills taught are not only applicable to daily military life, but to other leadership positions as well.
This month, the Army revamped Level 3 of the training, and AFTB instructors here were the first in Europe to teach it - less than a week after receiving the new course material.
"That was a phenomenal thing for them to do because 70 percent of my instructors are full-time employees. So it's not like this is the only thing they do," Smith said.
The classes are also offered in Spanish, German and Korean, and can be taken online at www.myarmylifetoo.com. The training is also worth promotion points, Smith said.
Besides this training, AFTB offers finance classes, local culture classes and classes on entitlements and benefits, and other classes tailored to meet the specific needs of units, organizations or groups, Smith said.