Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany --
Public Affairs Specialist
The Marine and Family Services office here is reaching out to selected Department of Defense civilians to alert them that some of their services are available to them.
“We’re beginning a new campaign to reach out to civilians because, based on Marine Corps Order P1700.24B, we have the ability to work with civilians on a space available basis,” said Eric Ashley, director, Marine and Family Services, Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. “As we’ve been drawing down the Marine population here, the availability of our services has increased.”
The menu of services available at MFS for eligible DoD employees is extensive.
They include transition and relocation assistance; family member employment, information and referral; prevention and education. In a crisis situation, victim advocacy services are available.
Also, a supervisor may direct an employee for substance abuse services, but only if the employee is a retired servicemember.
Marine and Family Services’ Lifelong Learning program, available to civilians, is built around the Base Library and the Base Education Office. Other services include the Personal Financial Management Program and supervisor-referred general counseling.
“Most of our departments run at about 80 percent client capacity, others are close to 100 percent,” explained Ashley.
“If their supervisor refers them to me, I can provide general counseling services such as anger management, stress management and post traumatic stress,” said Jan Weissbard, general counselor/substance abuse counselor, MFS. “On Tuesdays at 3 p.m., I hold a Combat Operational Stress Support group meeting here in Building 7200. If a supervisor wanted someone to attend the meeting or if someone wanted to attend, I have no problem with that.” Weissbard’s office phone is (229) 639-7939.
Educational services are also available.
“I can help anyone who comes into my office,” said Dana Wallace, education services officer/school liaison, MFS. “As the School Liaison Officer, I can provide information about area schools and we have a resource room at the Education Center in Building 3010 that contains scholarship information.”
For Marines wishing to continue their education, Wallace’s position as education services officer can help open the door.
“If you tell me you want to go back to school, I can help you decide which opportunities are best for you,” she explained. Wallace may be contacted at (229) 639-5162.
Victim Advocate Services at Marine and Family Services provides assistance to victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and child abuse. The focus is on the safety needs of the victim.
“I also assist anyone who has been victimized by an active duty member,” said Jamie Hurst, victim advocate, MFS. “If individuals involved in an incident on base are outside the realm of our standard population that I work with everyday, then I will walk them through the process to where they need to be. If it’s something that happens out here, we’ll do our best to perform the initial response and get them what they need,” she said.
The victim advocate works during what is described as the ‘crisis phase’ of an incident and then provides a ‘warm handoff’ to community services for continued victim support and services.
Workshops and classes at Marine and Family Services include personal financial management to provide training and personal financial counseling.
“I love to sit down with people and work with them on a budget and show them how to trim costs and set up a savings plan. That will keep you out of the Navy Relief office or going to a payday lender or any other institution to borrow money to catch up,” said Terry Cosper, manager, Transition Assistance Management Program, Marine and Family Services. “If you’re prepared, you can reach into your savings account and take care of problems.”
Cosper also offers resume and job search services to eligible civilians.
“Not only can an active duty Marine, retired member or a widow come in for job search information, but so can civil service workers at the base. I also work in the family member employment program and family financial budget management assistance, for both Marine Corps personnel and civilian employees,” he explained.
Additional information about the numerous services available from Marine and Family Services is available on-line at www.ala.usmc.mil/mccs/personalservices.
But the opportunity for eligible DoD civilians to utilize Marine and Family Services has its limits.
“We cannot provide certain services to civilians, such as therapeutic counseling services, unless they are directed over here by their supervisor,” Ashley explained.
Supervisors may refer an employee who demonstrates anger in the workplace and the supervisor feels there is a need for professional counseling.
“But for someone who just tells their supervisor they have a problem with anger or depression, there is a Civilian Employee Assistance Program available for them through the base Labor Relations office,” said Ashley.