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App helps with Army family team-building

Training app could earn an award

Posted: February 3, 2013 - 1:00am
Teri Ryan, a Grovertown resident who oversees the Army Family Team Building program at Fort Gordon, helped to develop an iPhone and iPad app for the program.   Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Teri Ryan, a Grovertown resident who oversees the Army Family Team Building program at Fort Gordon, helped to develop an iPhone and iPad app for the program.

Teri Ryan took an idea and spearheaded a project that is now being considered as one of the Army’s best practices.

Ryan, a Grovetown resident who oversees the Army Family Team Building program at Fort Gordon, worked with a team at Fort Gordon to develop and implement an iPhone and iPad app for the program, with components that can benefit nonmilitary as well as military.

“Army Family Team Building has three levels. Level one is for those new to the military; level two is personal development and level three is leadership and management,” said Ryan.

The program is typically offered in a classroom setting or over the Internet. There are several modules within each level, and for the app, Ryan selected six of the more popular offerings.

Level one classes are the most Army-specific. They deal with topics such as Army acronyms and protocols, but even the Army etiquette app could be of benefit to people not affiliated with the Army, she said.

“We live in such an electronic society,” she said.

Simple etiquette such as what does an RSVP mean and how does someone do it have been lost, she said.

At the higher levels, AFTB deals with topics such as personality traits, personal time management, stress management, self-esteem, leadership styles and communication skills.

Ryan said the app was first introduced in August, and it was downloaded more than 3,000 times through the end of 2012.

While AFTB is an Army-wide program, Fort Gordon was the only installation to come up with an idea for an app to simplify it. Ryan said she made sure it wasn’t being worked on at any other installation before embarking on the project.

Because of the response, it has been selected to be considered as a “best practice,” which is defined as “a superior method or an innovative practice that contributes to improved performance of the process. The practice must demonstrate through data that it is ‘better, faster, cheaper,’” according to the Headquarters, Department of the Army Web site, www.hqda.army.mil.

Best practices are shared with other installations to help them do things more efficiently.

Ryan said she’s pleased with the progress on the app but doesn’t plan on stopping work on it.

“I constantly want feedback to see if it’s meeting the needs of the community and to make it better,” she said.

Currently, it’s available only for users of Apple products, but she’d like to see it eventually expanded to the Android market and possibly add other the training modules.

The best way to leave feedback is in the iTunes store where the app is downloaded, she said.

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