Marine Corps Family Teambuilding trainers offer readiness instructions Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Barbara Hawkins, Family Readiness Program trainer, offers tips and suggestions to Family members of Fort Leonard Wood’s Marine Corp Detachment.
Story and photo by Melissa Buckley
GUIDON staff
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Marine Corps Family Teambuilding trainers from Quantico, Va., were on Fort Leonard Wood last week to provide Family Readiness training for the detachment.

The team was here to provide mandatory training that’s required by the Marine Corps for the Family Readiness Program in order to make sure the volunteers on post are trained and the command team’s program is on point with Marine Corps directives.

“We’ve dedicated this whole week to Family Readiness,” said Stephanie Taber, Family Readiness Program trainer.

To make the most of their trip to Missouri, the instructors also spent some of their time with the Marines and their dependants.  

“We had two days of Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills, and one day of relationship enhancement with the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program and The 5 Love Languages,” Taber said.

LINKS is a volunteer, team-mentoring program, designed by Marine Corps spouses. The program offers an orientation to the Marine Corps lifestyle, helping spouses, Marines, children and teens, and parents/extended Family members understand and adapt to the unique challenges military life often presents. While the curriculum targets those who are new to the Marine Corps community, the information is very beneficial at all levels of Marine Corps experience.

Newlywed Megan Anderson has been a Marine Corps spouse for just four months and decided the LINKS class would be a good opportunity for her to learn more about the Marine Corps.

“This is the only program I have attended so far. I learned about all the different types of uniforms, so that when we go to an event I know how to dress, too. We also got etiquette tips and learned how to read a Leave and Earnings Statement,” Anderson said. “As a newlywed, this was a lot of new information.”
She was glad to meet some spouses from outside her husband’s Military Occupational Specialty.

“They have the same problems I do, and it’s encouraging to meet people outside of the department that I know,” Anderson said.

Taber said her central focus of the week was overall readiness — recognizing that readiness is not just about deploying.

“It’s about how to deal with the everyday things that come their way. Stresses like how their jobs effect their marriage and kids and their ability to interact with their fellow Marines. We focus on personal skills and hope that by giving people tools for their toolboxes it will make it easier to execute the mission,” Taber said.

With the Marine Corps Detachment located on an Army installation, Taber said she tried to bring a little bit of hometown Marine Corps to her students.

“Here they have to follow the Marine Corps polices while learning about the Army’s policies. These Marines are serving on a different kind of installation than they are used to, so we tell them what’s new on Marine Corps installations — things like the Traffic Management Office has changed to Distribution Management Office. This way when they come back to a Marine Corps installation they will just be able to fall right back in place,” Taber said.

She pointed out the fact that the Army and the Marine Corps have very similar services, so she tried to focus her classes on the kinds of services offered on post, what they are called and how to contact them.

“We invited the post’s Army Family Teambuilding folks, the Exceptional Family Member Program team and the Military Family Life Consultants to come and share the local programs. Some of these programs are Department of Defense services and have the same name on any installation,” Taber said.

Taber wanted to leave the Marines on Fort Leonard Wood with a feeling that they were part of a tight-knit group, that they could lean on each other for support and even reach out to her for help — even if she was all the way on the East Coast.

“Marine Corps Families have a strong sense of history, tradition and loyalty to Marine Corps values, so we feel like we are all one Family,” Taber said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2013 )