Scott AFB - Airman & Family Readiness Center
Scott AFB - Airman & Family Readiness Center

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Eligibility Statement: DoD Personnel & families - including military members, all Service & Guard, Reserve, military retirees, DoD civilians, NAF personnel & immediate family members. Other uniformed services include US Coast Guard, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, uniformed State Department personnel, Public Health Service personnel & members of units assigned or attached to a US installation.



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A&FRC helps Airman with finance management


By Senior Airman Joshua Eikren

375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


Regardless of the situation the Scott Airman and Family Readiness Center has a wide range of financial programs to assist Airman and their family’s financial preparedness.

The A&FRC has a comprehensive financial education program is developed to help military members and their families identify and resolve immediate financial concerns, gain a deeper understanding of critical issues related to their unique situations, and move forward toward long-term financial stability, while accomplishing financial goals.


“The curriculum consists of a wide-range of courses to meet people where they are at with their finances,” said Lona Berndt, 375th Force Support Squadron Community Readiness Consultant. “These services include education in all personal financial life-cycle stages, from initial entry to transition.”


These programs look to educate those who know their currently in need of financial advice, but also look to prepare people before situations arise.

“From a proactive stand-point, my hope is that Airmen and their families will understand the importance of financial education, and take part in the plethora of financial education that is available at the A&FRC,” said Berndt. “However, if people are feeling the pressures of their current financial situation and would like some intervention and support they should consider meeting with an accredited financial counselor through our office.”


Airman 1st Class Kassandra May Manimbo is one Airman from Scott who taken advantage of the programs the A&FRC has to offer.

“Berndt provided me with financial advice when entering a marriage. Among the many valuable topics she shared with me, an extremely important piece of advice I received today was that communication in finance within married couples is vital for a healthy relationship,” said Manimbo. “She also discussed with me potential financial issues that may occur at some point in the marriage that I would have not thought of and some resolutions for them.”

One example Berndt gave her was: after each pay period, each member in the relationship has a set amount of money (i.e $50) to spend without having to consult the other member. This is to maintain healthy spending habits within the budget. She also explained that both parties must be involved in being informed with the money spending for a sense of equality in the relationship.


“I believe that this information has empowered me to approach financial obstacles that I have been intimidated of or never would have thought of,” said Manimbo. “I also feel more prepared because I am more aware of the resources that are available to me. My perspective in finance in my future marriage has widened and I feel excited to share it with my partner to blossom in our relationship.”


The different programs the A&FRC offers Airman and their families are:

  • First Term Airman: Four hour instructional block that discusses 17 core financial areas to include: Reading an LES, establishing allotments, debt-reduction, TSP, AFAS, emergency savings, predatory lending practices to avoid, car buying, etc. 
  • First Duty Station Officers: This course discusses many of the same subject areas as the FTAC curriculum. However, a significant amount of time is spent on identifying potential financial issues with Airmen and what agencies are appropriate for a referral.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): A retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve.
  • REDUX/CSB: a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. The CSB/REDUX retirement system applies to those who entered Service on or after August 1, 1986, AND who elected to receive the $30,000 Career Status Bonus at their 15th year of service. This is an irrevocable decision that should be greatly considered beforehand.
  • Millionaire Airman: Every Airman can be a millionaire!  This course discusses the path to riches!  How to make small sacrifices today for the good of tomorrow! This course was modeled after Chief Master Sgt. Todd & Julie Nielson who retired from the AF as millionaires.
  • 30 Ways To Waste Money: A popular list of money-wasters for 2015! Consider these 30 common ways people waste money. If any of them sound familiar, start plugging your budget holes right away!
  • Research Save, Vacate, & Plan (RSVP): This course was specifically designed for Airmen who are planning on moving out of the dormitories.  The course discusses all of the practical steps in living on your own from understanding a lease to being a good neighbor. 
  • FICO Scores & Credit Reports: 56% of all military credit reports have some type of error on them.  The MyFICO program sponsored by FINRA is administered to all course attendees. 
  • Investing Principles: This class gives some insight into techniques and strategies to help you think about which investing strategies suit you best.
  • Finances for Transition: When the uniform comes off once and for all you might be living on a reduced budget for a while. Careful financial planning is the key to successful management of a limited income.
  • Slaying the Debt Dragon: The average American family has over $9000 in credit card debt.  This course discusses debt reduction strategies to be debt free!
  • Identity Theft Prevention: Identity theft is the fastest growing “white collar” crime in the world.  It takes on average 600+ hours to remedy an identity theft.  Learn how to protect yourself from being victimized.  The course also discusses how the Federal Trade Commission can help if an identity theft occurs.
  • Frugal Living & Holiday Giving: Can you imagine having all of the fun holiday experiences with things that you want, kicking the debt cycle to the curb forever, and still having enough money left over to save for a lip-smacking, delicious retirement?
  • Home Buying: The American dream!  Learn how the VA home program works, how to ensure that buying is the right decision, and how to calculate the amount of “home” you can afford.

For someone like Manimbo, learning from one of the programs can open up ideas on how utilize others and further expand the financial understanding for their future.

“If an event were to ever occur that I may need to take advantage of the FALCON loan, I would because I have been informed (Of course, this is for extreme emergencies only.),” said Manimbo. “If I were to need a month's pay in advance, I would inquire about it because I am aware it is available to me in time of need.”


Berndt, who was also named June’s Innovative Educator of the Month by Practical Money Skills, looks to continue helping Airman by giving them advice from her own understanding of military life.


“Military life can have some extra challenges, such as deployment and frequent moves, and those challenges sometimes may have powerful financial repercussions,” said Berndt. “Financial education and responsibility are critical to the type of work we do in the Air Force. Not having your “financial house’ in order can result in significant consequences, such as the loss of a security clearance; ultimately causing a liability to our mission.”


The A&FRC program also offers:

  • Provides one-on-one financial counseling services in areas such as budget development and financial planning, managing personal finances, and evaluating assets and liabilities
  • Provides emergency assistance through the AFAS, NMRS, AER
  • Assists with consumer complaint resolution
  • Assists in Debt Reduction (PowerPay)
  • Conducts media campaigns that promote behavior change to help Airmen build wealth through saving and investing (Military Saves Campaign, National Literacy Month, etc.)
  • Partners with many non-profit agencies and DoD to assist in consumer advocacy

For more information on the A&FRC Financial Program contact 256-8668

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