By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Fort McCoy's delegates to the December Department of the Army
(DA) Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) helped their counterparts from
other installations/organizations work through issues that affect the
Fort McCoy AFAP delegates,
including DA AFAP delegates Lt. Col. Kirkland Diehl and
Master Sgt. Christine Tron, discuss an issue at the
installation's AFAP Conference. (File
Lt. Col. Kirkland Diehl, the deputy commander of the 6015th
Garrison Support Unit at Fort McCoy, represented Fort McCoy as a
dual-status military representative. His spouse works at the Wisconsin
Master Sgt. Christine Tron of the 84th Training Command (Leader
Readiness) was the installation's other delegate, fulfilling the
requested demographic for a Soldier in the ranks of E7 (sergeant first
class)-E9 (sergeant major, command sergeant major).
"This conference helped give me a better insight into
family action issues," Diehl said. "It's taking care of
Soldiers, which means taking care of families and vice versa."
The number of general officers who attended the sessions to get
firsthand input was very impressive, Diehl said. The Deputy Army Chief
of Staff Gen. Richard Cody told personnel he was there to help ensure
the Army family is taken care of.
Cody told the attendees that retaining Soldiers leads to a
better Army and to a better way of life, Diehl said.
Diehl was assigned as a delegate to the Facilities and
Transportation Group. Each group reported out its top two issues. His
group's top issues were having Health and Wellness Centers at each
installation and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites in remote
locations. The Health and Wellness Centers issue was voted a top-five
issue (tie for fourth place) by conference attendees.
The Health and Wellness Center concept would directly impact
Soldiers, families and Department of Defense civilians at Fort McCoy
and other installations, he said. This would help Soldiers pass Army
Physical Fitness Tests (APFT) and meet weight standards and save
thousands of dollars in training costs by ensuring Soldiers can meet
APFT and weight standards before they are sent to attend schools, etc.
Civilians also could benefit, for example, by having assistance
available for such things as combating hypertension, smoking
prevention, preventing alcohol abuse, etc.
MWR facilities are an important asset in supporting the quality
of life in an Army community.
Diehl said Fort McCoy is considered a remote location, so
proposals supporting MWR facilities at remote locations will help
assist Fort McCoy programs.
"I was told we do a good job in what we have and having
(the leadership) acknowledge and set up MWR programs for
improvement," he said. "To get something at a remote site,
you have to request it, and then go through the request process to
write it up and get it to the regional level. The funding is
determined by how something (facility, programs, etc.) will be used
and the return on the dollar."
Tron said a Fort McCoy issue about the Modification of the
Child and Youth Services Patron Leave Credit was discussed by the
Youth Work Group, but was not voted out by that group as one of its
From her own standpoint, she received a deep sense of
accomplishment when one of the issues her group (Family Support II)
discussed and briefed out was voted into the top five (a tie for
fourth) of all conference issues.
The issue was a comprehensive behavioral health program for
"Never before have I experienced a more productive (five)
days that would have such a profound affect on others," Tron
All of the issues discussed at the conference have the
possibility of resulting in a positive impact on Soldiers and their
families, Tron said, especially in the case of the Army Wounded
"The majority of the issues that were selected as the top
five concerned Army Wounded Warriors and their caregivers," Tron
said. "(Although) these issues do not specifically impact Fort
McCoy, these issues impact all Army installations because there (are
or) will be Army Wounded Warriors personnel at the majority of all
Diehl said written requests and documentation are important in
the AFAP process at every level and for getting items funded.
At Fort McCoy, personnel who see a potential issue that could
be considered, need to ensure it is submitted for review in the
"(The bottom line is) if you want change to occur for a
better quality of life, you need to write up an issue and put it
in," Diehl said. "If you don't, no one will ever know."
Diehl said he has briefed Army Community Service (ACS) Program
Manager Ann Wermer about the results of the conference.
For more information about the AFAP process at Fort McCoy,
visit the Fort McCoy MWR Web site http://www.mccoymwr.com
and click on ACS (Army Community Service) Schoolhouse, and then on
Army Family Action Plan or call the AFAP program manager at (608)