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Fort Rucker starts bus tours to help newcomers learn about their new home

Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, welcomes newcomers to Fort Rucker during the ACS Newcomers’ Welcome at The Landing Aug. 15. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, welcomes newcomers to Fort Rucker during the ACS Newcomers’ Welcome at The Landing Aug. 15. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: August 22, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August. 22, 2014) -- Fort Rucker is well known for its transient population, and the installation is doing what it can to help newcomers become familiar with their new home.

That’s why the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is offering a free bus tour starting in September to help new Soldiers, as well as their spouses, become more familiar with the installation, said Janice Erdlitz, DFMWR marketing director.

“The tour will take participants on a bus ride around the installation showcasing all of the MWR facilities on post, from The Landing Zone to the gyms to the golf course to the lake to the arts and crafts center and more,” she said. “It will help Soldiers and spouses learn their way around the installation and the many amenities offered. They will walk away from the tour with a better understanding of all the great and rewarding programs available to them during their stay at Fort Rucker.”

The bus tour is free and will last about four hours, and attendees can expect extra bonuses for participating on the tour.

To start, participants will be treated to coffee at The Landing’s Coffee Zone, and several coupons and fun prizes will be given out throughout the day, said Erdlitz.

The newcomers will also be treated to lunch provided by The Landing Zone following the tour, she added.

Erdlitz said this tour is just one way that DFMWR serves the military community.

“We are proud to serve the needs of our military community,” she said. “Our staff is committed to providing outstanding customer service because our Soldiers and Families deserve the best.

“This tour is our way of introducing MWR to our new Soldiers here on Fort Rucker, and I think the tour is just one way we can say ‘welcome home,’” she said. “It also serves as a mechanism for us to support the readiness of the Soldiers (and spouses) by showcasing the programs and recreational opportunities to help keep a high level of morale and wellbeing to keep our Soldiers and Families Army strong.”

Erdlitz said that too often she hears about Soldiers who have been on the installation for six months before realizing there is a lake on post.

“We don’t want Soldiers and Families to miss out on the many recreational and support programs available to them here at Fort Rucker,” she said. “Also, by actively engaging the spouses on this tour, we think their experience here will be more rewarding.”

Part of the tour will be a windshield tour, during which DFMWR staff will drive by and point out key facilities on the installation and discuss their services, said Erdlitz. The tour will also stop at some facilities and provide a walk through and talk with managers about the facility and how they can assist the tour participants.

“We know sometimes it’s a little intimidating walking in a facility for the first time and not knowing your way around, so we’re taking away that negative and providing a positive with a hands-on, get-to-know Fort Rucker experience,” she said. “The monthly bus tour is also a nice complement to the monthly newcomers’ welcome, and although the bus tour is not a required attendance like the briefing, it builds on the information the Soldiers received in the briefing.”

The Army Community Service Newcomer’s Welcome is held every third Friday of the month at The Landing’s ballroom, and is a mandatory program that Soldiers are required to attend no later than two months after arriving at the installation.

During the welcome, Soldiers will have the opportunity to visit with different booths set up by different organizations on post that they and their Families will have access to.

The most recent Newcomers’ Welcome was Aug. 15, and Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, was on hand to welcome the new Soldiers and Family members to the installation.

“Welcome to the best assignment of your life,” he said during the welcome. “Fort Rucker is a great place to live, work and play, and you guys are a part of it as you come here, but it’s only if you get involved.”

Throughout the meeting, McRae went over the different amenities that Fort Rucker has to offer its Soldiers and Families.

To sign up for the bus tour, Soldiers and spouses should visit to register. Seating is limited, so currently tours are open to Soldiers and spouses only, added Erdlitz.

For more information, call 255-2292.

This article was originally published at

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