[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        April 24, 2009
News

McCoy issue advances from 
FORSCOM AFAP to Army level

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

A Fort McCoy Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) issue about temporary duty/permanent change of station orders for classes longer than 20 weeks was chosen as one of the top five issues at the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) AFAP.

Photo: Fort McCoy personnel participated in the installation’s Army Family Action Plan Conference (AFAP) and discussed an issue during the October 2008 event. (File Photo)
Fort McCoy personnel participated in the installation’s Army Family Action Plan Conference (AFAP) and discussed an issue during the October 2008 event. (File Photo)

Sgt. 1st Class Greg Kaatz of the NCO Academy said the issue is especially important to military personnel because if they attend a class longer than 20 weeks they are placed on PCS orders.

This means they have to move their families to their new duty location or risk not receiving benefits, such as basic allowance for housing, he said.

"This can be disruptive for their family members who would have to change schools," Kaatz said. "By allowing these personnel to attend the courses on TDY orders, they can leave their family at their current duty station where they would have all of the services available to support them in the military sponsor’s absence."

The issue will be sent to the Army level for further review at next year’s Department of the Army AFAP conference, Kaatz said.

The FORSCOM conference included personnel from all walks of Army life — active, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, federal civilians and military family members. 

Everyone is in civilian clothes so, outside of name and location, personnel don’t actually know the rank or standing of a person who’s attending the conference, he said.

"Issues are discussed, subject matter experts are brought in and they can tell your group the current status of an issue," Kaatz said. "It is good to see how everything comes together and the differing points of view. Everyone in every group works together for the solutions that best benefit Soldiers and their family members."

Another facet of the conference that caught Kaatz’ attention was that it was the first time many personnel attended an AFAP conference beyond the installation level. Kaatz said the work group members carefully review all the issues, decide what their top issues will be and report them out to the conference members.

The conference attendees then vote on the top issues to send to the Department of the Army AFAP Conference for further consideration.

Because all the issues begin at the local level, it is important for personnel to participate in the process and bring their issues to their AFAP program manager for inclusion in the local conference.

For more information about the AFAP at Fort McCoy, community members can call the Army Community Service (ACS) AFAP program manager at 608-388-2359/3505 or visit the Web site http://www.mccoymwr.com and click on the ACS School House. The next McCoy AFAP will be held in October.

(See related story)

 

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