• AFTB focuses on military lifestyle basics

  • The next set of Army Community Service Army Family Team Building classes begins Aug. 21.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The next set of Army Community Service Army Family Team Building classes begins Aug. 21.
    “Army Family Team Building provides Army knowledge and specialized training to prepare participants to maximize their personal and professional potential,” said Jessica Brushwood, Army Volunteer Corp coordinator. “AFTB helps service members and families cope with and enjoy the military lifestyle. Many of the courses can be applied toward resumé and career building, self-development and leadership skills.”
    The concept of AFTB began in 1992, Brushwood said.
    “Senior leaders and spouses saw a need to educate family members as a result of lessons learned following the Gulf War,” she said.
    The AFTB program was made an official Army program Dec. 16, 1994, with a policy letter signed by Gen. Gordon Sullivan, then-Army chief of staff and Sgt. Maj. Of the Army Richard Kidd, Brushwood said.
    “AFTB enhances overall Army and family readiness,” Brushwood said. “Service members have peace of mind knowing their family members are prepared, confident, self-reliant and resilient.”
    The AFTB classes are in three parts. The first is LINK — Leavenworth in the Know — Aug. 21. LINK teaches attendees basic Army information including Army acronyms and how to use community resources, attain financial readiness and understand the goal and impact of the Army mission, Brushwood said.
    The second class is PREP — Planning, Resumés, Experience and Personal Growth — Sept. 19. PREP helps attendees improve their communication skills, personal relationships and stress management, Brushwood said.
    The third and final class is LEAD — Leadership, Effective Communication, Assessment and Development — Dec. 5. The class teaches attendees about different leadership styles, how to run an affective meeting, how to manage group conflict and how to coach and mentor others, Brushwood said.
    All three classes are 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Resiliency Center.
    Brushwood said the approach to the classes is unique.
    “AFTB uses a train-the-trainer approach to deliver training,” she said. “The premise of the program is volunteer family members helping other family members. The curriculum was developed for family members by family members.
    “The best feature of AFTB is that it is all volunteer taught by members of our community,” Brushwood said. “The teachers are relatable, bring in their own relevant knowledge and the participant is able to build connections within the community. The experience one will have in the classroom cannot be replicated in front of a computer. Additionally, AFTB remains relevant today because the program is kept up to date by both curriculum reviews and the personal input of instructors.”
    Jessica Richardson, who recently attended the ACS Instructor Training Course to teach AFTB, said her first experience with AFTB came in summer of 2017 when she attended the LEAD class.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I was signed up (to take) classes to become an instructor. This was my first adventure with AFTB, so I decided to take classes and watch other instructors,” Richardson said. “I was blown away with the leadership skills that were instilled in me that day. I am an active volunteer throughout post and many of these positions are leadership positions.
    “By taking this class, I felt I was a better leader for my community,” she said. “I recommend these leadership classes to everyone that I come in contact with. I think some people think AFTB is only used for military situations, but it isn’t. I have used my training at home, with my daughter and within my volunteering positions. AFTB is one amazingly brilliant program that I will continue to take as a student and teach as an instructor.”
    The classes are free and open to all service members, families, Army civilians and volunteers. Child care will be available on site. Registration is due a week before the class date.
    For more information or to register, call Brushwood at 684-2800.
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