The KMC has two retiree organizations — one for the Army and one for the Air Force — that are mandated by regulation to represent, support, help and advise retirees and the chain of command. Due to the nature of our combined community in Kaiserslautern, the two organizations work together to provide these services. The Army garrison has a retiree council appointed by the garrison commander that meets regularly and works through the retiree services officer, a paid position on the garrison staff. The Air Force has a retiree activities office, with director who is a volunteer appointed by the wing commander and a physical office on Ramstein that is staffed by volunteers three days a week. Many of the same people volunteer with both organizations.
Below outlines the duties of the retiree organizations:
- Support the airlift wing and the garrison by being the focal point for issues that affect retirees and surviving spouses, although other groups may be affected too. If a concern is brought to their attention, they try to resolve it locally, providing appropriate response or passing it up the chain of command if needed.
- Collect and promptly disseminate, via email, all the information touching on retiree issues that come from various agencies such as Defense Financial Accounting System, social security and other military services.
- Meet regularly with the commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
- Present a workshop designed to educate military spouses of the benefits due to them because of their retired spouses’ service, including information on what the retiree might have to do if their spouse dies first.
- Provide a quarterly Retiring in Germany Brief for people near retirement to let them know what it means to be a permanent resident here.
- Offer one-on-one versions of one of our presentations, if needed on certain occasions.
- Coordinate a service called “Retirees Helping Retirees” throughout the KMC for retirees and widows who can no longer do certain activities for themselves, such as driving.
- Provide help to retirees who need to stay in LRMC but are not from the area and are without local support.
- Help with the annual Retiree Appreciation Day by advising the project committee of desired activities.
The RAO is open three days a week to answer questions, receiving numerous phone calls, emails and frequent walk-ins from retirees, surviving spouses and those readying to retire. It maintains information, as current as it can get, on subjects ranging from transferring cars to installation access to the Foreign Medical Program.
The members are retirees from all the military services and include spouses, widows and Department of Defense retirees. If you would like to help, contact one of the retiree organizations.
For more information from the RAO, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 480-5486 or 06371-47-5486, stop by Bldg. 2120, room 108, on Ramstein or visits the Ramstein RAO Facebook page. To contact one of the garrison RSOs, email email@example.com or call 483-8405 or 0631-411-8405.