Army Personnel Coordination Detachments help soldiers change from full-time to reserves or civilian life.
Recent training in Canberra has improved the capability of the Army Personnel Coordination Detachments (APCD) across Australia.
Five APCD personnel completed the two-week Army Personnel Coordination Detachment Commander’s course at HMAS Harman on February 13.
In support of the ADF Transition Centres, the role of APCDs is to assist Army personnel through their transition from the Regular Army to the Army Reserve or civilian life.
APCDs are manned by a full-time major and a part-time warrant officer with a full-time warrant officer as the trade transfer and retention warrant officer in selected areas.
Training provided to APCD staff includes a thorough understanding of their role and how best to engage and interact with people requiring support from organisations such as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Army’s Support to Wounded, Injured and Ill Program, and the Defence Community Organisation.
Major John Hart, of APSC HQ, said APCDs were implemented to help units provide a seamless transition from the full-time Army for their soldiers.
“It is important to guide them in the right direction and have a positive impact to ensure they are prepared for their future after transitioning from Army,” Major Hart said.
“APCD personnel are chosen through a selection process and come from a variety of Army backgrounds and careers.
“They need sound communication skills, empathy and compassion to assist soldiers and their families during their transition.
“At the same time we also provide guidance on the entitlements members feel they are eligible for. Working in an APCD does have its stressful moments, but it is a very rewarding job.”
Major Julie Scheef, of APCD South Victoria, said the training was important to ensure staff achieved their mission of providing assistance to soldiers and their families as they separated from the full-time ARA.
“We learn skills such as how to interview the soldiers, maintain contact records and manage our role as an administrative commanding officer,” Major Scheef said.
“Some may have a difficult time within the transitions space, especially where complex cases such as mental and physical health are involved.
“When we conduct a soldier’s transition ceremony with their families and show them how they have contributed to Army it puts a smile upon their face and they say ‘thank you’.
“APCD is a vital asset for Army and the best part of this job is that we assist soldiers in the transition space.”
APCDs also have many other important functions, which include being the point of contact for members posted to Army Personnel Not Related to Establishment positions, members on extended long service leave, leave without pay, maternity leave and undergoing long-term rehabilitation, convalescence or transition. They are also a point of contact for Army members who have separated or transitioned from the Army.
Trade transfer and retention warrant officers assist soldiers, units and commanding officers by providing advice on corps transfer, trade transfer, officer training and service transfers.
Those who may be thinking about changing jobs or separating from the Army should contact their local trade transfer warrant officer.
They can provide help to change trades while maintaining service benefits. A new addition to the APCDs are the Member Support Coordinators who support the Army Support to Wounded Injured and Ill Program and personnel being medically separated.
These capabilities come together assisting Army to support soldiers transitioning, and those who wish to retrain and remain within Army.