Army Community Service has several civilians on staff who are knowledgeable about budgeting and are committed to ensuring Soldiers are financially stable now and after their military service.
Fort Hood offers several different real-life solutions for successful Army living, and the best place to go for information regarding military and civilian community resources is with ACS, located at Shoemaker Center on Fort Hood.
Tyrone Willis, a financial specialist with ACS, helps prepare Soldiers and their families for financial situations as they prepare for deployment, as well as the financial realities of everyday military life.
“(ACS) offers financial guidance for Soldiers, including saving, investing, credit reporting, debit or credit card management and budgeting,” said Willis.
Willis is a retired Army veteran who dealt with his own financial hardships when he was active duty. After his experiences, Willis intends to let Soliders benefit from his life experience, so they can avoid the same situations.
When Willis served 20 years ago, Soldiers weren’t given the same financial guidance that they are now. He said he was left to make decisions by himself. At one point in his career, Willis had to support his family with nothing but $50 in his account.
Soldiers often find themselves in situations where they are spending more than they realize. To prevent Soldiers from finding themselves in these situations, ACS has created the Financial Readiness Program, to help Soldiers establish how much money they should be saving in comparison to how much is being spent.
The Financial Readiness Program always begins with a budget, explained Sylvia Gavin, a financial specialist with ACS.
Willis and Gavin give financial briefs to incoming Soldiers across Fort Hood. The purpose of the brief is to let Soldiers know what services ACS offers. Some of the other services offered include command referral programs, VA benefits, family advocacy programs, employment readiness and volunteer opportunities.
When they are not educating incoming Soldiers on what financial guidance ACS can offer, Willis and his fellow financial advisors can be found in Shoemaker Center assisting active duty Soldiers, veterans and civilians with their financial management.