JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Joint Base San Antonio is the largest joint base in the Department of Defense, and maintaining community resilience within such a large organization, representing all branches of the U.S. military, can be quite a task. That is why all JBSA Military & Family Readiness Centers are open to anyone military-connected who needs support.
The JBSA M&FRCs incorporate Airman and Family Readiness, Army Community Service, Marine and Family Programs, Coast Guard Work-Life, and Fleet and Family Support ideals to provide a full range of programs and services to support mission and personal readiness, said Sally Gonzalez, Exceptional Family Member Program manager and a member of the 502nd Family Support Group’s Community Resiliency Working Group.
“One of the M&FRC’s primary functions is to build community resilience by linking service members and their families with the right resources to meet their specific needs, whether those resources are on JBSA or within the local community,” she said. “The goal of the working group is to ensure everyone knows the services provided are open to all branches of service, active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard members, retirees, surviving spouses, their families, and DOD civilian employees, unless otherwise stated,” Gonzalez said.
“We want the JBSA community to know that these are their programs,” she said. "The program might have a different name than you are used to, but the services are equal to what you are used to.”
Gonzalez said on JBSA, the M&FRCs offer a variety of learning sessions and one-on-one consultation opportunities to support individuals, families, and leadership with programs that strengthen the entire community, encourage self-sufficiency, enhance mission readiness and resiliency, and ease adaptation to the military way of life.
Workshops and classes include subjects such as financial wellness, employment readiness, transition assistance, the Exceptional Family Member Program, relocation assistance, immigration and citizenship, and many more.
Financial classes include subjects like managing finances in marriage and when having a child, credit and debt management, car buying, how to budget, and many more.
Employment Readiness seminars include interviewing skills, resume writing, and navigating USAJOBS, as well as classes to build computer skills.
Transition Assistance offerings include sessions for incoming or outgoing members on Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services, career transition services, and the Department of Defense Skillbridge or Career Skills Program.
“Not only do we help those who may be at the beginning of their career, but we also assist those transitioning out of the military,” said Jon Vance, Transition Services manager at JBSA. “From translating their military experience and preparing a resume to a post-military financial plan, and so on, we work with transitioning service members to ensure they are as prepared for the smoothest transition possible.”
Vance said he feels it is just as important that they take the time to assist people through any aspect of their life, not just the ones new to DOD.
The M&FRCs also offer appointments with Military and Family Life Counselors, opportunities with Volunteer Services, information related to Voting Assistance, Personal and Work-Life, Deployment Readiness, and more.
For those unable to attend group programs, the M&FRCs offer one-on-one consultations, and, while walk-ins are welcome, Gonzalez said it is best to schedule an appointment by calling the closest M&FRC: JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 210-221-2705 or 210-221-2418; JBSA-Lackland, 210-671-3722; or JBSA-Randolph, 210-652-5321.
Individual units on JBSA can also request workshops, briefings or classes be brought to their location by any one of the JBSA M&FRCs.
“Sometimes it’s hard for military members to make the time for the classes and other opportunities we offer,” Gonzalez said. “Bringing our services to the units can help many people at once and may also help improve the resiliency of the entire group.”
Additional M&FRC program information can be found on the JBSA M&FRC Facebook Page or at https://www.jbsa.mil/Resources/Military-Family-Readiness/. Click on ‘Calendar of Events’ for a current schedule of available offerings.