13th SC(E) FRG Hosts AFTB Orientation

Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

Spouses of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) participated in an Army Family Team Building pre-deployment orientation at the Commanche Chapel here Monday, sponsored by the SC(E)'s Family Readiness Group.

"These classes are intended to make sure (the spouses) prepare for deployment. As long as they know they have resources, they can use to make life easier for them; there will be less family issues for the deployed Soldiers to worry about," said April Griffith, an FRG Assistant with the SC(E).

The classes taught Monday were the first five courses of AFTB level one training said Griffith.

The classes taught were: Expectations and Impact of the Mission on Family Life, Military Acronyms and Terms, the Chain of Command, Introduction to Military Customs and Courtesies, and Introduction to Military and Civilian Community Resources.

Griffith added, "The classes were primarily aimed at spouses who have been exposed to the military for less than six years."

Rose Mandujano, also an FRG Assitant with the SC(E) said, "We needed to make sure there was a program to educate families about military life, so they can prepare for mission readiness."

"These families need to be mission ready to protect the home front so the Soldiers can concentrate on protecting the nation," said Mandujano.

The AFTB classes are available online, but the SC(E) FRG Assistants said they wanted to make sure as many people as possible participated in the training.

"Rather than ask (the spouses) to sign up for AFTB classes and take them individually, we decided to go ahead and bring it to them," said Stephanie Therell, FRG Assistant with the SC(E).

Mandujano stated there were many advantages to hosting the event, rather than requesting people to address these classes online.

"Events like this foster camaraderie," said Mandujano.

Participants in the AFTB classes were given free child care for the day, through the Short Term Alternative Child Care Program, a social lunch, and door prizes donated by area businesses, said Mandujano.

"A lot of people said they didn't know the Army offered all these programs," said Therell.

Griffith added, "We hope (this training) will encourage (the Army spouses) to attend more AFTB training."

Therell stated, "(Military families) are the Army's best resource."

Mandujano said, "I feel very passionate about taking care of military families."

"We're really excited about doing this, it benefits both the FRG and the AFTB," concluded Mandujano.