Creating Financially Sound, Employable and Transition-Ready Soldiers
The continued support of the lifelong resiliency of Guard Soldiers and Family members remains a top priority for the leadership of today’s Army National Guard. The latest initiative to embody this prioritization is the Army National Guard Citizen Soldier for Life (CSFL) program.
CSFL offers National Guard members and their Families resources to manage and master financial matters, career readiness standards and employment opportunities. CSFL counselors build individualized case management records, which are used to help Soldiers navigate through the Soldier Life Cycle and map out customized plans that best serve the needs of each Soldier and their Family. Services are offered at key career touchpoints, which can occur at any point during the Soldier Life Cycle – starting with the Recruit Sustainment Program and ending with a Soldier’s separation. These touchpoints encompass promotion, leadership training, pre- and post-deployment, component transition/retirement and major life events such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child and disabling sickness.
CSFL seeks to improve the financial literacy of Guard members by providing education and training on financial readiness subjects – including money management, retirement planning and 12-month budget building. CSFL counselors educate Soldiers on best practices for making informed personal financial decisions regarding a variety of finance-related topics. These include:
- Assessing financial goals and needs
- Short and long term budget planning
- Blended Retirement System
- Credit Basics
- Understanding Loans
CSFL staff members work to ensure Soldiers meet Career Readiness Standards as early within the Soldier Life Cycle as possible. The program helps equip Soldiers with the knowledge, tools and skills needed to achieve their individual career goals. Counselors collect and maintain Soldiers’ employment history information in order to appropriately match and recommend civilian employment resources and community networking opportunities. Using a database repository of information on local employers plus State and local government agencies, Certified Personal Financial Counselors and CSFL counselors provide Soldiers with contact information for community events, career days and networking events.
CSFL can help Soldiers who are unemployed, overemployed or underemployed. Counselors are available to assist with:
- Individual Development Plan/Individual Transition Plan
- eBenefits registration
- Requirements identification/eligibility for certification, licensure
- and apprenticeships
- MOS crosswalk w/skills-gap analysis
- Individual assessment tool
- Job application package (resume/references)
- Career track mapping (college, trade school and entrepreneur)
CSFL Counselors are available to provide services to Guard Soldiers in all 54 States and Territories. Their offices are typically located in or near a Joint Force Headquarters or Recruit Sustainment Program location. Offices are open weekdays during normal business hours; Counselors also service units during weekend Unit Training Assemblies, as well as during Annual Training.
For more information on CSFL counselor locations or program specifics, use your common access card to visit MilSuite.mil and search Citizen Soldier for Life using the search field on the home page, or follow on Facebook or Twitter @ARNGCSFL.
BY STAFF WRITER Tatyana White-Jenkins