Commentary Search

Changing the lives of our Barksdale Airmen with financial peace

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --  

Thirty Air Force Airmen and spouses from across Barksdale recently graduated from Financial Peace

Military.

This nine module course is available to service members and their families. It covers a variety of

financial topics using financial author, radio host and motivational speaker Dave Ramsey’s “Financial

Peace Military” as a basis. It is within the Chaplains’ stewardship program, which is a full-spectrum

approach to financial management.

During the course of two months, cumulatively, students were able to pay off over $7,300 worth of

debt, saved up at least $8,000 towards emergency funds, and avoided $369,000 worth of debt from 22

credit/loan offers. The course also encouraged creative sources of income and ways of bargaining.

With these new tools, the class was able to earn about $300, which offset the cost of course materials,

and summed approximately $500 worth of savings from their purchases.

After letting the Chaplains and my Leaders know my plan, I decided to teach the class to my unit. I

wanted to include some of our Airmen who were deploying in the summer, since finance is an

important topic for the deployed member and their families. We started meeting twice a week during

lunch, and the attendees graduated in less than two months.

“I paid off $4,251.63 in debt and saved an additional $5,988.60,” said Tech. Sgt. Audrey Cornejo,

FPM graduate. “Because of the lessons I reduced the stress on my car repair because I had an

emergency fund to pay for it. I was also able to reduce my insurance premiums by $300 a year based

on the principles applied.”

By fall, I decided to offer the class outside the unit. I collaborated with the professional organizations

on base to spread the word. Before I knew it, my class was the word on the street! People I don’t

know would come up to me and say “Hey, it’s the money girl!” because I was impacting our Airmen

through the Financial Peace course.

The graduates recommend the course to everyone, several said it would be great if all Airmen attended

the training.

“The course helped me to become a better Wingman by assisting fellow Airmen with their budgets,”

said Airman 1st Class Darron Harper, FPM graduate.

I look forward to impacting more and more Airmen on base. We conduct the course at multiple venues

on base so the Airmen don’t have to find us, we bring it to them.

I’m glad to say that our graduates have become advocates of the transformational impact the course

has. There are those who have expressed that they want to facilitate leading the same course in their

units. There is no sweeter fruit than when your students want to pass on the blessing they received to

their fellow Airmen. The beauty about the program is you don’t need to be a financial expert to lead

the class, all you need is to have the heart to make a difference for others. This is the legacy I want to

leave to Barksdale Air Force Base.

DISCLAIMER: Financial Peace, Military Edition is a non-government program. It is not part of the

Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no governmental status. Neither the

Department of Defense nor the Air Force endorse Financial Peace, Military Edition.