FORT SNELLING, Minn. –
The conference room buzzed with chatter as groups of Soldiers, Family members and volunteers from the 88th Readiness Division region brainstormed ways to welcome new Families to their respective units. The exercise was a part of the Regional Soldier and Family Readiness Training held here.
The training spanned three days, April 1-3, 2022, covering topics such as new Family integration, program organization and structure, how to organize events, laws and regulations as well as other subjects the attendees would need to establish and or maintain a Soldier Family Readiness Group within their organization.
“We bring in command groups, command Family readiness representatives and volunteers –so basically anybody involved in the Family readiness program– and teach and talk to them about everything that has to do with Family readiness, Family programs and ways for command teams and volunteers to take care of the Soldiers and their Families,” said Dominick Cirincione, the 88th Readiness Division’s regional Families program director.
The purpose of SFRGs is to create networks of support and assistance for Families within the 88th Readiness Division region to maintain Soldier and Family readiness. SFRGs keep command groups linked to their Soldiers and Families as well as educate Families on resources available to them within the community.
The staff conducting the training taught through presentations, breakout groups and practical exercises. They would rotate and present their area of expertise.
The diversity of presenters and exercises helped make the training engaging and interesting, said Sgt. Giles Powell, an SFRG volunteer assigned to the 753rd Quartermaster Company, Green Bay, Wis.
“It was great to see how much pride the staff takes in their work,” Powell said. “Seeing the passion they put into this is very motivating.”
The training also linked the attendees with the various community partners and resources they provide to Families. Representatives from both internal – Chaplin, Behavioral Health, Suicide Prevention, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, as well as others, – and external partners such as Military One Source and Veterans Affairs were present during the training.
The attendees were able to visit the representatives’ booths during breaks. The use of community partners was also built into the training exercises, said Cirincione. During some of the practical exercises, the attendees visited with the community partners and learned about their resources and how they could be used to help the Families within the attendees’ units.
The information provided to the Soldiers and volunteers during the training allows them to return to their units and continue supporting the Families that reside within the 88th Readiness Division region. The support of military Families allows Soldiers to focus on their mission which improves readiness across the division, said Cirincione.