|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Delegates at Fort McCoy’s Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) conference Oct.
24-25 discussed six issues and forwarded two issues to be considered at
a mid-level conference.
Kevin Herman, AFAP manager for Army Community Service, said the
installation AFAP conference is an annual event to review issues
important to the Fort McCoy community.
Army Family Action Plan volunteer delegates, with the assistance
of Army Community Service personnel, discuss an issue at the
annual Fort McCoy conference.
“Each issue submitted is reviewed by the commander (after the
conference),” Herman said. “Issues are discussed by the delegates, and
solutions must be recommended, including if delegates determine they can
take no action on submitted issues.”
The top AFAP issues from the October conference are forwarded for
consideration at the Installation Management Command conference, which
will be held in early February 2013. The top three McCoy issues
concerned a physical-readiness training (PRT) opportunities facility for
company-sized elements in inclement weather, using certain mobilized
duty to lower Guard and Reserve Retirement Eligibility age based on
federal “specified-duty” eligibility to receive reserve-component
military pensions, and co-pays for military members/dependents, and
retirees filling prescriptions at non-Army pharmacies.
The PRT issue won’t be forwarded because it can be handled at the Fort
McCoy level. The issue concerned not having a covered facility large
enough to accommodate a company-sized unit during inclement weather. The
Army has a regulation to guide PRT.
Three recommendations were made by delegates. In the short term,
existing maintenance facilities could be used. A mid-term solution would
be to construct overhead-covered pavilions in the center of the existing
physical training area.
The final solution would be to construct a heated facility large enough
to accommodate a company-sized element. Kert Hanson, the Directorate of
Public Works subject-matter expert noted the timeline to build a new
facility could be several years into the future. The second issue
recommended changing the retirement age reduction credit at which Guard
and Reserve personnel who have performed mobilized tours in connection
with military actions can receive reserve-component military pensions.
Currently, only those reserve-component personnel with service after
2008 can use each 90 days of specified duty in support of wartime
deployments to reduce their retirement age eligibility to younger than
Guard and Reserve personnel with specified service before 2008 cannot
use time served to reduce their retirement age, thus creating an
inequity between these personnel.
Delegates recommended changing the current Department of Defense (DoD)
guidance to allow servicemembers with specified duty since August 1990,
the beginning of the Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm),
to be eligible for this retirement-age reduction benefit.
The third issue is to change co-pays for dependents and retirees at
non-Army medical pharmacies. Currently, Fort McCoy military members,
Family members and retirees do not have access to a military pharmacy
that offers prescriptions with no co-pay requirements as they would on
larger Army installations with medical facilities, such as a hospital.
“Medical benefits for Soldiers and their Families are a contractual
entitlement,” Herman said. “It is important to address this issue
because many of the servicemembers coming to Fort McCoy had access to an
Army pharmacy (at their former duty location).”
Delegates recommended eliminating the co-pays at pharmacies when
installations do not have DoD medical-treatment facilities available.
Herman said other issues presented and discussed included an educational
savings plan, notification prohibiting smoking and consumption of
alcoholic beverages on playgrounds on South Post and the effect of
unemployment on Soldiers in the current economy.
Delegates recommended taking no actions on these issues.
Smoking and consuming alcohol on South Post playgrounds currently is
prohibited, and the issue is being worked at the installation level to
provide formal on-site notification of this policy, Herman said.
All of these issues, the recommended solutions, and any action taken on
them will be placed in the Fort McCoy AFAP issues listing, which is
available online through the website
Members of the Fort McCoy community, including Soldiers, Family members
and civilian employees are encouraged to submit issues or become a
volunteer at any time throughout a year. These actions can be done in
person at the Army Community Service Center, building 2111, or online by
going to the AFAP section on the Directorate of Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation website.
For more information about AFAP, call ACS at 608-388-3505 or Herman at