By Charles D. Gaddis IV, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) hosted command level financial specialist training on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor March 9-13.
Command Financial Specialists (CFS) are members of the military who have been appointed by the commanding officer to provide financial education and training, counseling and information referral at the command level.
“CFSs are the peer-to-peer counselors, therefore they reach out to the deckplates faster and easier than waiting on a Sailor to come to us,” said Walt Barrett, a Work and Family Life Consultant on NBK Bangor.
Fleet and Family Support Programs (FFSP) support individual and family readiness through a full array of programs and resources, which help Navy families to be resilient, well informed and adaptable to the Navy environment.
“This is the best class to enroll in my opinion,” said Barrett. “Sailors want to improve themselves and others so they volunteer for the course.”
Command Financial Specialists are trained to establish, organize and administer the command’s personal financial management program. The CFS should be the first stop for service members who have questions or issues about financial readiness.
“The Coast Guard doesn’t offer this course,” said Chief Warrant Officer Earl Mellinger, assigned to USCGC Healy (WAGB-20). “We learn this information from the Navy to take back to our commands since they don’t teach it in boot camp.”
The class was comprised of 32 students, 29 active duty Navy, two Coast Guard and one Navy reservist.
“There are a lot of junior Sailors with financial problems,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Dante Castillo, assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68). “As a CFS you can help guide them in the right direction.”
The five-day CFS course was open to E-6 and above. At the end of the course Sailors were recognized as command level financial specialists.
“I hope they take the training back to their various commands and spread it,” said Barrett. “I also hope they use the information at home with their families.”
For more information on Command Financial Specialist Resources, go to http://www.cnic.navy.mil/ffr/family_readiness/fleet_and_family_support_program/personal_finances/command_financial_specialists.html