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    Preserving the Force and Family

    Preserving the Force and Family

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin | U.S. Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) personnel get information from each...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin 

    U.S. Special Operations Command Central

    Preserving the Force and Family
    Sometimes it isn’t always easy dealing with the stresses that come our way. There are times when we are strong enough to handle them, and then there are times when we need to reach out to someone or something to guide us through. The question is, “To whom or to where do we turn?”
    U.S. Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) personnel gathered at the Hillsborough Community College Regent Hall in Riverview, Fla., for a SOCCENT Newcomers and Family Orientation, Aug. 2, 2019.
    The semi-annual event is designed to help connect new service members, Department of Defense (DOD) civilians, DOD contractors and their families to resources that can help improve the health, welfare, and resilience of the force and family.
    The Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF) organization established this event to provide families within the special operations unit with services addressing the four main pillars of life - physical, spiritual, psychological and social needs.
    “The SOCCENT Family Orientation was designed to empower our service members and families with education, social support, and resources,” said Jennifer Denton, SOCCENT’s Community Program and Peer Network Coordinator. “We have this event twice a year to make sure that all of our newcomers have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the many resources we provide.”

    Denton said that the goal of the POTFF team is to preserve the force and family while reducing the stigma associated with seeking care. The event was a huge success with over 150 people in attendance.

    At the start of the event, Rear Adm. H. Wyman Howard III, SOCCENT commander, welcomed the new members and their families to the unit.
    “I appreciate the time that you have dedicated to join us for the SOCCENT Family Orientation to learn about the investments we made in family readiness and the capability of our team to perform its mission,” said Howard. “It all starts with the Family and the health of the Family.”

    POTFF is a Special Operations Command initiative that will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the force and their families. The efforts are specifically designed to build resilience, improve operational performance, and ensure SOF readiness.

    Howard went on to say the closer we are as a Family, the better we will be as a team. It’s all about relatedness of the team – the closer we are, the better we will understand each other’s needs. That’s how we build authentic relationships.
    The event continued with community members introducing themselves and providing the many different resources available to SOCCENT personnel and their families. After the short briefs, the newcomers and their families enjoyed a lunch buffet and were able to get more information provided from each of the community member representatives at various kiosks.
    Senior Master Sgt. Erik Sonnenberg, SOCCENT’s command group noncommissioned officer in charge, said the symposium was very informative and provided our service members and most importantly our families the access and information to the outstanding resources provided here in the Tampa Bay area. It was a great opportunity to meet other new members assigned to SOCCENT.

    “The best part of the symposium was the SOF 101 update,” said Sonnenberg. “The briefing provided my spouse a better understanding of the SOCCENT mission. Additionally, we really enjoyed the Chaplain and are excited for the upcoming marriage retreat and other services the team is providing.”

    Working in a unit with a high operational tempo can be taxing, not only on the body, but also on the mind. The resources available are there to help SOF personnel and their families cope with the stresses of life - whether it be physical, spiritual, psychological or social.
    To learn more, you can contact the POTFF team by phone: 813-828-4235 or email: or



    Date Taken: 08.08.2019
    Date Posted: 08.08.2019 13:26
    Story ID: 335150
    Location: TAMPA, FL, US 

    Web Views: 606
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