JANUARY 20, 2023 — The Presidio of Monterey Spouse Orientation gives spouses an opportunity to receive briefs on benefits, resources, specific programs and numerous leisure opportunities afforded them while they are stationed in Monterey.
On Jan. 18, guest speakers from across the installation explained where to find medical clinics, childcare facilities, local schools, employment opportunities, relocation assistance, housing advisement and the exceptional family member program – just to name a few.
The Presidio of Monterey is a multi-service garrison, which brings its own unique challenges when communicating available services across a broad audience. Venues such as this orientation help spouses understand, in plain language, what services are offered and how garrison personnel care of people.
The USAG PoM command team of Col. Sam Kline, garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Traylor, senior enlisted advisor, challenged spouses to meet someone new, seek answers to their questions and start building a network of friends and contacts.
Kline asked experienced spouses to mentor those new to the military family and share their experiences. “The military family is strong, but it’s through our relationships that make us powerful,” he said.
Katilynn Snow, manager of the ACS Employment Readiness Program, organized the orientation, which takes place quarterly and includes about 15 briefings.
“This is an important spouse orientation to attend since everything is spread out through the Monterey area and this isn’t your typical command,” Snow said. “This is where spouses can learn without searching on their own, as well as start to meet other spouses they can connect with.”
The idea is to have spouses, regardless of how long they been married, to come and see what we have to offer, Snow said. “That’s why this spouse orientation program is valuable,” she said.
Brandi Jones, a military spouse who attended the orientation, said there is always something new to learn about the military and this orientation was no exception.
“Even after 18 years I’m still learning things and even after having a master’s degree in education, I’m still learning because I don’t think we ever stop learning. It’s been such a helpful event,” Jones said.
Jones said she appreciated that the command team and garrison personnel who briefed at the orientation in person. “Traditionally you just see their names online,” she said. “It was also good to hear that you’re so hands on and willing to help, even if it’s not necessarily your job.”
Dominique Corker, military spouse who attended, said she and her husband arrived in Monterey only two weeks ago, and she was grateful to have the opportunity to learn about the community firsthand.
“I just desperately need to learn about the area,” Corker said. “We hear a lot of different things, but I thought it’d be nice to just sit down and be around other people and get to learn.”
Corker said she plans to recommend the orientation to other spouses. “The information is too priceless,” she said. “You need to come here and learn.”
Join the Presidio of Monterey and Presidio of Monterey Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Facebook pages for more information at https://www.facebook.com/PresidioMonterey and https://www.facebook.com/PresidioFMWR.
By Heather Kline
U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs