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Mailing SCOPE: There is no provision for customers to self mail packages. Availability of a self-service parcel postage machine eliminates the need for waiting in the general customer service line while providing Soldiers and family members more flexibility with mailing time. Post office hours coinciding with normal Soldiers duty hour limits access to mail services. RECOMMENDATIONS: Install a 24-hour self-service parcel postage machine at the Fort Carson Post Office. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: This issue has been sent to the Installation AG Office to research. STATUS: Active
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference LOCAL ISSUE # 2: Re-Integration Programs for Parent/Teen Relationships SCOPE: There are no programs that focus exclusively on the needs of teenagers during the reunion process following deployments. Parents and teens often have difficulty reconnecting during post deployment reunions. Anxiety surrounding the reestablishment of parent/teen relationships during this critical period causes disruption of family dynamics. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Establish programs that specifically deal with parent/teen relationships during postdeployment. 2. Establish teen support groups for discussion of post-deployment issues with their peers. 3. Provide training to liaisons to be a bridge between parent and teens to maintain support structure. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by Mr. Kemp, Director, DMWR 1. Teen Reunion will be established as part of the CYS Keystone Club. The Keystone Club will be open to all youth. The Teen Reunion group will begin in January 2007. 2. CYS will establish a teen-parent reunion group with the support of installation partners. Groups will be both separate and together to discuss issues and problems solve. Group sessions will begin in February 2007. Vernita Wimbish will establish the installation team and plan the curriculum for the group sessions. Because reunion issues can begin at anytime, this group will be on going as a part of the deployment cycle. The teen/parent group will be open to all parents and teens as support during deployments. 3. To ensure the teen/parent group is meeting the needs of the attendees, an evaluation survey will be developed by the installation team. The evaluation survey will allow both the professionals conducting the group and the participants attending the group to provide necessary feedback for the success of the group. This tool will assist the team members in the preparation for the group to ensure the needs of teens and parents are being met at the meeting. Group dynamics could change the focus of the group session. 4. Deployment support for schools will include parent workshops on a monthly basis to discuss the children and youth issues. The CYS School Liaison Officers will work closely with the installation team to facilitate parent workshops. McDonald Kemp, MWR
STATUS: Active. Planning stage with implementation beginning in January and February 2007
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference LOCAL ISSUE # 3: On-Post Dog Park SCOPE: There is no enclosed, off-leash dog exercise area on Fort Carson. In the past two years, housing has replaced approximately 1500 carpets, 80% of those due to pet damage. In addition, pets damage walls, glass doors and sod in the yards. According to Fort Carson Veterinary Services, properly exercised and socialized dogs will be less likely to be destructive and aggressive in the housing areas. A dog park will help reduce damage to government quarters and property and will promote safe interaction with people and pets. RECOMMENDATIONS: Create an enclosed dog park on Fort Carson. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by Mr. Kemp, Director, DMWR DMWR has considered building a dog park for several years. However, the project has not been developed because of funding shortfalls. MWR has a CRB scheduled in January 2007, where construction projects will be discussed. This AFAP issue will be used to support the project as priorities are established. McDonald Kemp, MWR STATUS: Active. This issue will not be implemented until funding becomes available.
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference LOCAL ISSUE # 4: Pre, During and Post Deployment Family Retreats SCOPE: There are no Army Family retreats to deal specifically with pre, during, and post-deployment stressors on the family unit. Families unable to cope with these stressors place a larger burden on the Soldier and available post resources. The increased operational tempo of our forces causes repeated separations for extended periods of time; therefore strengthening the individual family units strengthens the total Army family. RECOMMENDATIONS: Create a retreat program specifically for families pre, during, and post deployment. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by Family Life Chaplain Williams. I agree that there needs to be retreats before, during, and after deployments that help families and single Soldiers cope with stressors. The way that this can be accomplished is that each individual Chaplain whose unit is deploying be tasked by his/her battalion commander to conduct a one predeployment retreat for marriage families and one pre-deployment for single Soldiers. Once the unit gets back, the Chaplain can do one post-deployment retreat for single Soldiers and one for families. Many times it is often hard for a chaplain to get funds for one reason or the other, but if funds can be released from their commanders, these retreats can be accomplished. If a Soldier or family is not interested in a predeployment or post-deployment retreat because he/she is not "religious", ACS or MWR may be able to provide these events. It would be good if ACS or MWR provide training on stressors for those not interest. It needs to be emphasized that these retreats not just be events in which a person goes skiing, etc. Of course, this can be done, but to emphasize that this will be a "training" event in which families or single Soldiers can receive training on how they can deal with the stressors of pre-deployment and post-deployment. In regard to helping children and teenagers, there could also be a subject matter expert who could teach the children &/or teens about the stressors that they will experience and how to adequately handle how things will be when Mom or Dad returns. During deployment is also important. The FRGs give a great deal of support during deployments, but unfortunately many spouses do not come for one reason or the other. It could be that the rear-detachment Chaplain could work with the FRGs and set up support groups for spouses and teens and have a "retreat or training event" in the middle of the year's deployment. Other sources that could be used would be the Chapels and Family Life Chaplain who could provide a retreat, training, and counseling to family members.
Response provided by Mr. Kemp, Director, DMWR. CYS recommendation – installation partners (Chaplains, ACS, Family Life, and DMWR/CYS) work together to establish on-going family retreats to support the deployment cycle. Family Retreats would include but not be limited to family enrichment, couples and parent/child/youth relationship. Retreats would include the entire family. The Retreats need to be ongoing by providing a Family Retreat Center that is easily accessible and that can be used to support the entire deployment cycle. There are 3 possibilities: Coordinate and collaborate with the Air Force to use Farrish Recreation Center (Woodland Park) for the Family Retreats. Instead of being Army only become purple to support military families; Develop Turkey Creek Ranch by building cabins and infrastructure to support the Family Retreat Center estimated cost is $400.0K; Partner with the State of Colorado concerning the development of Cheyenne Mountain State Park to support Family Retreat activities. McDonald Kemp, MWR STATUS: Active.
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference Local # 5: Single Soldiers Meal Deductions SCOPE: Basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) is automatically deducted from single Soldier’s pay whether Dining Facility (DFAC) service is used or not. Single Soldiers are not using the dining facility because of repetitive menus, lack of choice, scheduling conflicts, and inconvenient hours of operation. Single Soldiers pay-out-of-pocket for other meal choices and options; therefore, single Soldiers are paying for unused DFAC services. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Eliminate automatic meal deductions while in garrison. 2. Institute a pay-as-you-go system when utilizing the dining facility. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Issue sent to IG for response. STATUS: Active
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference Local # 6: Injured Soldiers Support Network SCOPE: There are no support networks available to individually redeployed injured Soldiers. These Soldiers are not welcomed home the same as Soldiers returning with their units. This creates a feeling of exclusion and lowers morale and unit cohesion. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Establish a trained installation support network for injured Soldiers upon return to home station. 2. Create a “Welcome Home Team” within this network to provide support and returning home ceremonies similar to the monthly installation retirement ceremony. 3. Develop a column in the installation newspaper to welcome home all soldiers. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Issue sent to medical hold companies for the AD and Reserve element for response. STATUS: Active
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference FORSCOM ISSUE # 1: Inter-Region TRICARE Support Center SCOPE: Transitory TRICARE Prime Beneficiaries are required by TRICARE policy to re-enroll in a new region to receive routine, non-urgent care. The time-consuming reenrollment process between regions results in delayed care and wasted hours to process the administrative paperwork. The current system steers Beneficiaries toward expensive urgent and emergency care which increases expenditures system-wide. RECOMMENDATIONS: Establish a support center that interfaces with all three CONUS TRICARE contractors and requires a centralized point of contact. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by Steve Alcock, Service Area Director, Colorado/Wyoming. Authority to fix is not within the purview of TriWest (nor any of the individual Managed Care Support Contractors) or TRO-West. Recommend action be elevated to TMA. STATUS: Complete. Referred to FORSCOM for further action.
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference FORSCOM ISSUE # 2: In-State Tuition Rates Regardless of Duty Station SCOPE: The transitory requirement of the military life often prohibits military families from being eligible for in-state tuition benefits. Military family members do not qualify for in-state tuition in the U.S. and its territories when the selected academic institution is not co-located in the state of the sponsor’s duty station. As a result military family members are often limited in higher education choices due to the added costs of out-of state tuition fees. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Arrange with states to waive out-of-state tuition fees for active duty family members regardless of the duty location of the service member. 2. Generate support from public universities, state governors and legislators for implementations. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by Ursula Miller, Fort Carson Education Center. In-State determination is established through individual state statute. The state of Colorado for example does provide in-state tuition benefits for both the Soldier Member and family members stationed in Colorado and once attending a state institution the family member can continue at the in-state rate even if the sponsor is transferred, as long as the enrollments are continuous and the family member remains in Colorado. Most states have similar laws tied to the co-location of the sponsor’s duty station or home of record. Beyond these requirements a family member is viewed, just as the rest of the civilian populace, that they must be from the state of the institution to receive an in-state tuition rate. The primary reason for this is because in-state rate is supported through the state income tax. The only way of accomplishing the issue is through state legislative changes generated by strong lobbying within Congress and the individual states. STATUS: Complete. Referred to FORSCOM for further action.
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference FORSCOM ISSUE # 3: Transferability of Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB) Benefits to Family Members (FMs) SCOPE: There is temporary limited transferability of MGIB benefits to spouses. This pilot program limits transfer of MGIB benefits to the spouse, but not other military FMs. The entitlement is used as a re-enlistment option with restricted circumstances. These restrictions are based on time in service, military occupation specialty, and length of reenlistment. Many Soldiers do not meet the re-enlistment criteria, preventing and transfer of benefits to FMs. Soldier contribute to the MGIB through payroll deduction, therefore Soldiers should be able to transfer their MGIB benefits to any FM (ID Card Holder) rather than letting it go unused. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Authorize Soldiers the right to transfer the MGIB benefits to FMs (ID Card Holder) regardless of time in service, or re-enlistment options. 2. Mandate transferability of full benefits to FMs (ID Card Holder) under the same stipulations that apply to the sponsor. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by Ursula Miller, Fort Carson Education Center. Requires congressional and legislative approval for a change in Chapter 30 MGIB benefits. STATUS: Complete. Referred to FORSCOM for further action.
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference FORSCOM # 4: Home-Based Business (HBB) Approval Process SCOPE: On-post retail agencies have input into approval or disapproval of on-post HBB. This is a problem because on-post retail “agencies” position on potential competitors negatively impacts HBB permits approval. Denial of HBB permits limits portable career opportunities, restricts entrepreneurship and development/continuation of HBBs. Limiting HBBs in military housing has a financial and negative impact on the Total Army Family RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Remove on post retail from the approval process of HHB application. 2. Publish clear regulatory guidance for on-post HBBs. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Fort Carson Garrison Commander will research action that may be taken locally. STATUS: Local/Active FORSCOM/Complete. Referred to FORSCOM for further action.
Installation Issue Paper 2007 FORSCOM Army Family Action Plan Conference FORSCOM ISSUE # 5: Travel Cancellation Reimbursement SCOPE: Most travel companies do not reimburse in full deposit, fees, and other expenses associated with travel when cancellations are caused by unexpected military commitments. Changes in deployments, permanent changes of station, temporary duty (TDYs) and rest and relaxation (R&R) leave. This causes financial burdens, undue stress and low Soldier morale affecting the military families’ life. Soldiers and their families are losing money when unexpected military commitments require cancellation of trips and/or relocation plans. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Amend the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to include release from commercial obligations of contract without penalization due to unforeseen military commitments 2. Publish local directory of companies with full reimbursement policies. Originating Installation: Fort Carson, Colorado Originating Installation POC: Nancy Montville 526-4590 RESPONSE: Response provided by COL Kent Meyer, SJA Fort Carson. We can accomplish recommendation #2 locally, but recommendation #1 can only occur by changing the statute. That can only be done by the U.S. Congress.
STATUS: Local/Active FORSCOM/Complete. Referred to FORSCOM for further action.