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    Idaho Army National Guard helps Soldiers for successful retirement

    Idaho Army National Guard helps Soldiers for successful retirement

    Photo By Crystal Farris | Retirees from the Idaho Army National Guard visit the Orchard Combat Training Center...... read more read more



    Story by 2nd Lt. Crystal Farris 

    Idaho Army National Guard

    The Idaho Army National Guard helps Soldiers prepare for a successful transition into retirement by providing pre-retirement seminars to individuals and their spouses with 16 or more years of service and with its Retiree Outreach Program.

    The next pre-retirement seminar will be held at the Post Falls Armory Sunday, March 4, and will offer Soldiers information about their benefits and responsibilities in planning for retirement.

    Approximately 25 Soldiers retire from the Idaho Army National Guard every year, however, most are unaware they must first apply for retirement to receive benefits, said William Fackler, state retirement services officer.

    “Unfortunately, a lot of people who are turning 60 now never went through the pre-retirement briefings,” said Fackler. “What ends up happening is they may not even know they need to come in and apply for retirement.”

    Retirement is not automatic for service members, instead they are expected to visit with a retirement services officer to initiate the retirement process six months prior to their expected retirement age.
    This helps to ensure retirees receive their benefits and retirement pay when eligible.

    Although many Soldiers retire from the military at around 40, most are not eligible to start receiving retirement pay and other benefits until the age of 60.

    Therefore, most Soldiers should visit with a retirement services officer by age 59-and-a-half to get the retirement process going, said 1st Sergeant Gregory Adams, yellow ribbon non-commissioned officer in-charge.

    Until then Soldiers can ensure they are ready for retirement prior to leaving the military by attending pre-retirement seminars, which are held annually on drill weekends at armories throughout the state in northern Idaho, southeast Idaho and Boise.

    “These seminars are very educational and beneficial for our service members,” said Adams, who runs the seminars. “They are both highly recommended and well-received by those who have attended.”

    Seminars cover information regarding behavioral health services counseling, employment after retirement, transition assistance, transference of education benefits, retirement pay and medical benefits.

    Attendees receive briefings and can ask questions of representatives from behavioral health, Department of Veterans Affairs, finance, education, Tricare, Military One Source, transition assistance, retirement services and retiree outreach.

    For more information on seminars contact Gregory Adams at or for retirement planning contact William Fackler at or visit

    Retiree Outreach Program

    The Idaho Army National Guard Retiree Outreach Program is unique to Idaho and offers retired Soldiers the opportunity to stay connected with the military, said Frederick Gilson, state retiree outreach coordinator and retired Idaho Army National Guard colonel.

    “There are many prior service members who spent 20 or 30 years with the Idaho Army National Guard who want to stay in touch and connected in some form or fashion with the guard,” said Gilson. “We found that before this program there was nothing out there for retirees to do this, so in 2013 it was created to take care of those retirees.”

    The program provides assistance at various levels, helping to keep 700 retirees from the Idaho Army National Guard informed on current guard-related events, such as promotions and benefit updates, through email and quarterly newsletters. The program also helps retirees establish a communication network by providing an opportunity for social interaction during organized activities, like the annual Retirement Appreciation Day.

    In prior years, participants of the event returned to Gowen Field to visit with Soldiers and armories, and to tour recent updates in the Orchard Combat Training Center. This year they may have the opportunity to ride in helicopters, said Gilson.

    Currently Gilson is working with the Idaho National Guard to expand program involvement to Air National Guard retirees, which he hopes to accomplish later this year.

    “We really want to expand the program beyond just the Army Guard, and Idaho, if possible,” said Gilson. “So that these other organizations and states can see a program that is really working well and emulate that across the country.”

    Soldiers can sign up for the outreach program during any of the pre-retirement seminars or find out more information by contacting Fred Gilson at



    Date Taken: 03.02.2018
    Date Posted: 03.02.2018 17:14
    Story ID: 267960
    Location: BOISE, ID, US

    Web Views: 435
    Downloads: 0