2nd ID battalions to get family activities leader
September 11, 2007
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Each 2nd Infantry Division battalion will employ a full-time GS-6 employee to coordinate information and activities for 2nd ID families, officials said last week.
The assistants will be charged with helping most of the estimated 721 families in the U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud area, 86 percent of whom are not command-sponsored.
“That’s why this position is so important,” said Capt. Dale Woodhouse, the Division Special Troops Battalion’s headquarters company commander. “In the past, non-command-sponsored families have just been living here in town at their own risk.”
Emphasis for creating the positions is coming directly from the 2nd ID commander, Maj. Gen. James Coggin, Woodhouse said.
The family-readiness employees will be responsible for telling commands if the needs of families aren’t being addressed, Woodhouse said.
The DSTB is setting aside office space for the incoming employees and creating a designated room on Camp Red Cloud for its families to interact.
The assistant will work with a respective family-readiness group, usually composed of spouses who volunteer their time to reach out to other families.
Viviana Pazos, wife of battalion executive officer Maj. Rafael Pazos, lives at Yongsan Garrison but serves on the 2nd ID family-readiness group. She is also working on improving family support within her husband’s battalion.
The challenge is getting a disparate group of families together, she said. Many of the command-sponsored families don’t live where their husbands work all week. Other wives, including many junior-enlisted spouses, aren’t Americans and don’t know how to get involved in Army activities and services.
“Our goal is to put together a group where it doesn’t matter where you’re from or how long been in the Army,” she said.
The assistant must also keep stateside family members informed. To assist, the DSTB wants to enable videoconferencing for families back home, Pazos said.
There are about 400 family-readiness support assistants Army-wide, including Guard and Reserve units, an Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command spokesman said. Most of them are contracted or temporary employees.
The Army wants to add up to 700 more support assistants, including one in each deployable battalion.