Family Members of 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers gathered Friday at Army Community Service to celebrate the group’s 45th anniversary with cake, gifts and camaraderie.
“The services the ACS provides our Soldiers are just absolutely incredible,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John McNeirney, garrison command sergeant major.
“Whether it’s doing the welcoming and adjustment for Soldiers and their Families when they first come to Fort Drum, providing financial readiness counseling … or the other litany of services that we just do on a daily basis here to provide those quality-of-life improvements to our Soldiers’ Families, I’m very proud to be standing here on (your) birthday with you to celebrate this great event,” he said.
ACS, a division of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, provides a variety of services for Soldiers and their Family Members, including pre- and post-deployment education, teambuilding workshops, survivor outreach services, financial advice, career counseling and much more.
“I’m very proud of everything we have achieved,” said Jolly Miller, ACS director. “ACS is an organization full of professionals.”
Of the 36 employees on ACS staff, Miller said all have bachelor’s degrees and many have been to graduate school.
Fort Drum’s ACS recently was recognized as the 2009 Best Army Community Service program worldwide under the large installation category.
“I’m so proud,” McNeirney said, “to be standing here with the Army-recognized best ACS for a large installation and to celebrate the Army Community Service’s 45th birthday (with you).
“(It’s) 45 years of absolutely outstanding service to the United States Army,” he added.
The ACS has come a long way since its early days when young ladies married to military men launched a few modest services, said Miller, who arrived at Fort Drum in 2008 and has worked for ACS at various locations for the past 20 years.
“They were the pioneers of our organization,” she said. “They went from place to place with their husbands – that’s how ACS started.”
Miller said the growth of ACS over the years translates into more services for Soldiers and their Families, which is the ultimate mission of the organization.
“It is a joy to be able to be here to serve this great 10th Mountain Division,” she said. “They need us, and I’m glad to help this great mission.”