CAMP PENDLETON — Nearly a dozen Marine spouses attended training to become command team advisors and family readiness assistants at the Marine Corps Family Team Building here, Nov. 16.
The purpose of the training, which is mandated through Headquarters Marine Corps, was to help prospective family readiness volunteers understand their future roles and responsibilities within their units, said Kathryn Butler, one of two Family Readiness Program trainers with MCFTB.
The training course, held bi-monthly at the MCFTB, is targeted toward military spouses, parents and extended family members who want to play a role in volunteering and assisting families within their Marine’s unit.
“Advisors and assistants to the family readiness officer are vital because they serve as the voices and hands of the unit’s families,” said Butler. “Advisors communicate family needs and concerns to the command team (comprised of military leaders and representatives), while assistants are qualified to refer families to various resources available to them, which helps strengthen the family unit, and overall, mission accomplishment.”
Objectives covered throughout the day included outlining the Family Readiness Program, covering the roles and responsibilities of the family readiness command team and how and when to refer resources to families in need.
Volunteers within the Family Readiness Program are divided into three groups: advisors, assistants and volunteers. Each group works together to foster communication and plan, coordinate and execute events within the unit, said Butler.
“Both Marines and civilians associated with a respective command can request to volunteer within their unit, be it helping with unit morale events, family days and holiday parties or serving as a contact to provide resources for those who need them,” said Butler.
“However, those interested in an advisor or assistant status must attend training, unlike volunteers, who generally help on a more short-term basis.” Those interested in becoming advisors and assistants must first meet with their family readiness officer and get appointed in writing. They are then given a window in which to complete all necessary training, which includes attending a Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills for spouses course and family readiness training and earning personally identifiable information and operational security certificates. Several of the course participants said the training was interesting and important.
“My husband and I have been with our unit about four months, and I’m eager to get started helping other families and being that support they need,” said Kristine, wife of a Marine with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, III Marine Aircraft Wing. “The training provided a wide base of knowledge for us to be able to draw on at any given time to help our families as best we can.” For more information on training with the Family Readiness Program, contact Kathryn Butler at (760)725-9052.
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