December 10, 2008

Cavalry troops gather for Yellow Ribbon Seminar

By 2nd Lt. Scott Campbell
2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment

Soldiers update DIMHRS information after a briefing on the new integrated system. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Scott Campbell, 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment)

HAMPTON, Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers from the Virginia Beach-based 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment gathered at the Hampton Convention Center Dec. 6 to conduct a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Seminar to follow up on the Squadron’s return from Iraq in June of this year. Nearly 300 Soldiers attended the day’s events.

Soldiers were able to attend briefings presented by a number of vendors. The topics covered a range of issues, which directly affect the Soldier at a personal level. 

The day opened with a briefing on Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System to inform Soldiers of the coming change in the program used to track personnel records for all branches of the military. Throughout the day Soldiers were able to update their records in preparation for the implementation of the integrated database. The program is expected to go live sometime after the first of the year.

Lt. Col. Bill Korsen, the squadron commander, said, “The day pulled a lot of Soldier resources together to ensure the troops have the opportunity to gain the full effect of those benefits.”

Representatives of the Military & Family Life Consultant Program were on hand to speak with Soldiers about some techniques to aid in reintegration with their families, their civilians and their communities.

Scott Fowler, a counselor with the Military & Family Life Consultant Program, estimates that “the majority of Soldiers returning from a deployment will not need counseling to assist them in reintegration.” The program is not intended to replace other programs, but to supplement them. The Guard will stand by those Soldiers who do need that assistance.

Soldiers of any service who need more information on the Military & Family Life Consultant Program can find it on the internet at www.mhngs.com or by calling (888) 755-9355.

Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Gibbs, the squadron’s command sergeant major, said, “Today’s Yellow Ribbon Seminar has given the troops a wealth of information to pull from. I’ve seen them in action as a first sergeant and I’m sure they will take that information and put it to good use!”

Financial consultants were also available to advise Soldiers in financial planning, Tricare, and other services that are available to them.

Bob Ponton offers financial planning advice to the Soldiers of the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Scott Campbell, 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment)

Bob Ponton, a professional financial consultant with the Military & Family Life Consultant Program, spoke with Soldiers about the importance of financial planning. Ponton said, “Proper financial planning is crucial to a Soldier’s success and stability weather before, during or after deployment.”

Pvt. Brett Witter of Bravo Troop said, “I liked the training and it helped me to see what is possible with financial planning.”

Ponton addressed a number of techniques for successful financial planning. Soldiers can seek advice on financial planning, military benefits, budgets, debt liquidation, student loans and tuition assistance, veteran’s benefits, and taxes to name a few. Soldiers can call (800) 646-9220 to speak with a personal financial counselor. Another good resources for Soldiers interested in financial planning is www.militaryonesource.com

“The day was a success; the squadron is better prepared to continue meeting its goals,” said Korsen.

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