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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Family Readiness Officers assist community

By Marti Gatlin | | February 17, 2011

Their sole mission is to help Marines, sailors and their families successfully fulfill the demands military lifestyles require.

Marcus White, Family Readiness Officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, and Valerie McCarley, Family Readiness Officer, Marine Corps Logistics Command, desire that the communities know they are here to collectively provide information and referral assistance for on-base and off-base resources.

“We plan to work collectively even though one is base and one is the Logistics Command FRO to provide as much support as possible - one instrument working together making sure Marines and families get what they need,” White said.

He began his position last fall and McCarley began hers the beginning of this year. They are the second FROs in their respective positions since the Family Readiness Program started in 2008 for the base and Marine Corps-wide, White said.

“I desire to have a good proactive piece to the program - doing things that enhance Marine couples’ relationships and giving single Marines guidance on finances and making the Marine Corps a career or moving back into civilian life as prepared as possible,” he said, adding he helps the Marines develop visions for their careers.

White said he uses his experiences with his wife, Sharon, a retired gunnery sergeant; his five children, 1-year-old grandson, friends and associates within the military as well as familiarity with the military culture to help Marine, sailors and their families here.

An Atlanta native who has lived in the Albany area since 1990, White worked in the Lee County public school system as a special education specialist and as a behavioral management counselor in the Beaufort County, S.C., public school system. He’s a full-time pastor at Victory Tabernacle in Albany.

“Having been married to a Marine is how I understand spouses, and even in my church over the years, I’ve had a large part of the congregation that was service related,” White said. “Valerie and I do a lot of information and referral and have to be aware of what services are available on and off base like where Marines, sailors and their families can link up with resources to handle substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, marriage and post traumatic stress disorder issues.”

He spent 22 years in child abuse investigation, foster care, social work, domestic violence and victim advocacy and worked with rape victims. White has a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education and psychology from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Fla.

Both White and McCarley initially meet with families and refer them in the correct direction to receive assistance, they said, noting they’re not counselors.

“What we do is very similar,” McCarley said. “For me, it’s creating a multi-layered support network for families, to reach out to all of our families, spouses or parents of single Marines and connect them to all support networks available to them.”

From New London, Mo., she has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Mo., and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Ill.

McCarley worked at Marine Corps Community Service in Hawaii as a Readiness and Deployment Support Trainer as well as an education specialist. She’s also worked at the University of South Caro-lina’s Columbia and Beaufort campuses.

Her husband, Sgt. Rufus McCarley, is a recruiter with 6th Marine Corps District. They live in Leesburg with their dog, Gizmo, a Maltese and poodle mix or Malti-Poo.

As she lives the military lifestyle, McCarley wants “to prepare and educate Logistics Command families long before their military members deploy - a model of full-time support, not like in the past where it was done right before and after a deployment.”

The Logistics Command Family Readiness office used to be located in Building 3500 and is now located in Building 7200, Marine and Family Services, along with White’s office.

McCarley can be reached at (229) 639-7147, by cell phone at (229) 881-1097 or e-mail at smblogcomfro@usmc.mil. White can be reached at his office number, (229) 639-8896, by his cell number, (229) 854-4612, or via e-mail at marcus.white @usmc.mil. Their offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and both are reachable after business hours.