The demand for financial readiness training among guardsmen nearly tripled the need in fiscal year 2020, according to the National Guard Bureau.
“Readiness staff has already delivered 1,059 financial readiness training sessions, supporting 59,402 participants in FY21,” Anthony Wickham, the National Guard Bureau’s Division Chief of Readiness, said of the National Guard Family Readiness offices. “This is a 65% growth in the number of service members and family members who participated.”
In line with the perceived increase in demand, the Department of Defense published DoDI 1322.34 “Financial Readiness of Service Members” in November 2021. The policy requires the secretaries of the military departments to provide financial readiness training consistent with personal and professional training points across the military lifecycle.
It also charges the National Guard Bureau chief with coordinating with the secretaries of the Army and Air Force to obtain necessary resources for providing financial readiness “programs, resources and information” to guardsmen and their families at the state level.
DoDI 1322.34 implements and replaces the 2019 Directive-Type Memorandum 19-009, “Financial Readiness Common Military Training Requirements,” that says military members should have financial readiness training at least once per year and during the 12 defined “touchpoints.”
“This program is much more than the annual financial training they may have seen in the past,” Wickham said. “The training is tailored to increase their financial acumen for that particular touchpoint as they determine how to best financially manage their new normal.”
Touchpoints span a service member’s career, starting with initial entry into the Guard up to retirement. They include major life-changing events like marriage, their first child’s birth, pre-/post-deployment and promotion.
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Training before attending a leadership course or transitioning to another component is also required.
NGB plans to deploy the new program by summer 2022.
Implementing the touchpoint training also includes preparing Soldier and Family Readiness and Airman and Family Readiness Program personnel to provide detailed information better. While they’d typically focus on financial readiness awareness and providing information about online training modules, family readiness program staff members will learn to give face-to-face financial training during train-the-trainer events beginning in March.
As personal finance counselors continue to provide more in-depth counseling, Wickham said adding the face-to-face method at the family readiness level changes and enhances how the training is conducted.
“This flexibility allows for a more tailored learning experience,” Wickham said.
More than financial counseling and literacy education, members can access finance tools, including information on credit, loans, investments and mortgages. The program will also continue to promote online DOD resources already in place, including Army Family Web Portal, Military OneSource and Financial Frontline.Read comments