Commissaries Promote Awareness of Military OneSource
By Bonnie Powell
Special to American Forces Press Service
FORT LEE, Va., Feb. 25, 2005 Need advice on consumer debt? Feeling depressed? Help is on the way. Military OneSource is the newest member of the military family support team, and commissaries are stepping up to the plate to help increase awareness of the program.
Provided by the Defense Department at no cost to servicemembers and their families, Military OneSource is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the Web. Users need only type "military" for the user ID and "onesource" for the password to gain entry to the site.
"Military members who forget how to log in to this great resource will be reminded while they are shopping in their local commissary the next few months and even after they get home," said Patrick B. Nixon, acting director and chief executive officer for the Defense Commissary Agency. "The reminders will come in the form of posters in stores, pins on cashiers, and even OneSource messages on our grocery bags."
The Pentagon's steward of communities and families said the exposure the commissaries can give Military OneSource will be a big boost for the program. "Commissaries have a tremendous amount of visibility in the military community," said John Molino, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy. "So putting the OneSource message in front of millions of commissary customers should help increase awareness of this valuable source of help for military families."
Nixon voiced the Defense Commissary Agency's dedication to the people the agency serves. "Our 272 commissaries worldwide have a commitment to being actively involved in the military community," said Nixon, "and we share DoD's interest in making sure we do whatever we can to get the word out to military shoppers with a need for this service."
Military OneSource on the Web contains a wealth of information and advice as well as pointers to services ranging from counseling either by phone or in person by masters-level consultants, to information on family support, emotional support, debt management, and legal issues, among other topics, all at no cost to the service member.
Once on the Web site, to protect confidentiality, users will be asked only for their branch of service and installation.
"Formerly, Military OneSource was service-specific," said Molino. "Now the information is all on one Web site, available at one common phone number and part of one great family service."
Military OneSource also can be reached toll free at (800) 342-9647 from the United States or (800) 3429-6477 from outside the United States, using country- specific access codes. The Web site also directs users to toll-free help lines for the United States and overseas.
(Bonnie Powell is assigned to the Defense Commissary Agency.)