October 4, 2012
By Ben Sherman, Fort Sill Cannoneer
The Army Family Team Building program is the primary readiness-training program for Army family members. The program was started after Operation Desert Storm and helps address important issues faced by spouses when their Soldier deploys and leaves them to handle difficult situations.
AFTB is a volunteer led organization that helps Soldiers understand that the more informed their spouses are about the military environment; the better their chances are for a successful career. The better prepared the spouses or significant others are to handle the challenges of military living, the more the Soldiers can concentrate on the mission. It is just as important their families also have a basic understanding of the military, so they can adapt to Army life, accept challenges, deal with change and develop life skills. AFTB provides them that opportunity.
The AFTB program is organized into three levels of classes for students who want to connect with their new Army lifestyle and is taught through interactive classes. Soldiers, civilians and significant others are able to attend training on a space available basis.
The "Learn Series" (Level I) is crucial for those who are new to the Army, less than five years. It introduces spouses and families to the basic terms, acronyms and resources that lay the foundation for success as a military family member. The first level of classes covers topics such as such as: Military Acronyms and Terms, Customs and Courtesies, Community Resources, and Problem Solving.
The "Grow Series (Level II) is geared towards leadership development for those who want to become involved in the Army community. It also has specific training for family readiness group participants and leaders. Level II classes include: Team Dynamics, The Volunteer Experience, Family Readiness Groups and the Deployment Cycle and Introduction to Leadership.
The "Lead Series" (Level III) offers professional development and training to enhance an individual's growth and leadership skills. This training is valuable for individuals who are leaders, whether in the unit, the FRG or the community. The skills gained in Level III help to foster cohesive groups that become productive. Topics include: Leadership Styles, Coaching and Mentoring, Managing Group Conflict, and Building Cohesive Teams.
Training can also be done on an individual level, or at the unit, squad, team levels or though an FRG group. Certification for the courses is recognized Armywide and completed courses carry over to any post.
Families are a vital factor in the overall readiness of Soldiers. A prepared family is better able to manage deployment, long-term separations and Army life in general by using Army resources. And, when Soldiers are confident their families are taken care of, they are more focused on the mission at hand and will want to continue serving in the Army.
If you are interested in attending classes at Fort Sill, call the AFTB office at 442-2382.