News: From start to finish, SWCS PAC keeps ARSOF students’ records up-to-date
Story by Caroline Goins
FORT BRAGG, N.C. —Each and every student attending training on Fort Bragg, N.C. with the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School goes through the command’s Personnel Administrative Center. From the time they inprocess to the day they’re awarded their course completion certificate, SWCS PAC is tracking them, to make sure all students’ administrative actions and academic achievements are accounted for.
Also known as A Company, Support Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), SWCS PAC processed over 4,500 individual students over the course of the 2010 fiscal year.
“We’re a key part of soldiers’ journey through SWCS because we are the first people they see when they start and the last people they see as they leave,” said Spc. Lupe Bernard, a human resources specialist and part of the SWCS PAC in-processing team.
The administrative center is divided into three sections: in- and out-processing, academic records and personnel-service support to provide soldiers guidance during their time at Fort Bragg.
The in- and out-processing section collects and distributes paperwork, processes leave and inputs arrivals.
“Soldiers have told me this is the best in-processing station they’ve ever gone through,” said Ronald Williford, one of the center’s human resources technicians. “I have watched these soldiers develop, some coming in as young E-4s and leaving as confident E-7s, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.”
The personnel service support office oversees out-of-training processing and reassignments, and tracks all SWCS students through Army human resource sys¬tems to maintain accountability for the command.
The academic records of¬fice updates class rosters, prints official diplomas, and manages a historical archive of SWCS course graduates.
Between these three sections, all SWCS students are accounted for during their training.
“We can track people who went through the Special Forces Qualification Course back to the 1970s,” said Anne-Marie Itzin, a specialist in the academic records office. “It’s a very detail-oriented job but I enjoy it. Our staff really works well together to make sure we track every student in every class throughout their training at SWCS with no error.”
Many SWCS PAC staff members are former members of the military who have first-hand understanding the importance of the Center and School’s qualification, advanced skills and regional training for the Army’s Special Forces, Civil Affairs and Military Information Support Operations soldiers.
“There’s a great pride that comes when you put on your uniform; it’s a 24/7 job and it’s important for us to work out soldiers’ administrative issues to provide a smooth transition, so they can concentrate solely on training,” Bernard said.
“They’re the heartbeat of America. They have a love of country, love of adventure and love of family that can’t be found anywhere else,” Williford said. “That’s why it’s easy to love what I do.”
SWCS PAC is preparing to take on more responsibility when it comes to person¬nel management.
Beginning this August, SWCS PAC will take com¬mand of out-of-training students while they’re still as¬signed to SWCS.
“The goal is to improve accountability and enable us to get these soldiers on to their next assignments faster, and allow the training units to focus their efforts more on the soldiers’ training,” said Capt. Stephanie Pegher, the A Company commanding officer.
“There’s something special about SWCS, the students and the staff,” Williford said. “If there's something better out there, I haven't found it."