Fort Campbell Soldiers have the opportunity to influence barracks improvement plans by participating in a survey addressing the needs and amenities desired in their living spaces.
“The Army’s current No. 1 priority is people, with quality of life in housing and barracks being a key component of taking care of people, said Ted Reece, chief of the Fort Campbell Housing Services Office.
The Fort Campbell garrison team is working to nest local priorities with the Army’s People First policy to establish goals and initiatives to improve housing for Families and Soldier barracks, Reece said.
To ascertain the needs of Soldiers living in the barracks Capt. Naseyah McMillan, special projects officer with the Fort Campbell Directorate of Public Works, and executive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), is conducting an online survey through Dec. 6.
“What I hope to learn from the survey is what Soldiers actually need and desire to improve their [living] spaces,” McMillan said.
The survey allows Soldiers to express both needs and improvements in addition to what they would like to see in their common spaces, interior and exterior, she said. Once the requests of the Soldiers are met it will help to improve their health, morale and quality of work.
McMillan also is conducting in-person surveys with individual Soldiers who live in the barracks.
“I am meeting individuals by appointments and alternating through the unit common areas and CQ desk sporadically during lunchtime and after work,” she said. “I [also] will be sending the link to individuals as a personal text. When you receive the text, please take five-10 minutes to complete the survey. This is how we can make changes in your living areas.”
For many of the Soldiers, the opportunity to help improve the barracks is exciting.
“I really appreciate that they are asking us for our opinions and what changes we want to see,” said Pvt. 2 Lisset Claudio, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div. “We want to have a safe environment during our downtime. The Army is always adapting, so I feel like the living situation and environment should adapt with us. We should be able to have a living environment where we not only feel safe but are able to enjoy it while we serve.”
The survey can be found at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScSCdb5b36pzAgM0xrrcPzrbEqJ2Z7VaiGdTNUgBUEugMNkmA/viewform or on the Fort Campbell BOSS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FortCampbellBOSS.
The survey prompts Soldiers to answer questions about the importance of common areas, a full kitchen, and improved ventilation as well as amenities like gaming systems, adjustable lighting, bike racks, and grills.
The Fort Campbell Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program also is assisting with dissemination the survey by sharing the link on the Fort Campbell BOSS Facebook and Instagram pages.
“Barracks issues fall under the quality of life pillar for BOSS,” said Sgt. Christina Meyers, Fort Campbell BOSS president. “With the survey Cpt. McMillan is conducting, we both share a target audience. All of the Soldiers who reside in the barracks qualify as BOSS Soldiers. We regularly cover this issue during our meetings and if there are issues in the barracks or things we are looking to improve for quality of life for Soldiers.”
The link also will be shared at BOSS meetings and forwarded to brigade BOSS representatives who send it on to their Soldiers, Meyers said.
“We want to help spread the word,” she said. “Even if change doesn’t happen for Soldiers living in the barracks right now, we can still help facilitate change for future Soldiers, which is a win-win for us. I want to encourage Soldiers to voice their opinion and concerns, I’ve had Soldiers bring up issues before, and I think this survey is a great opportunity for them to go directly to the source and have some influence.”
Once the survey is complete, the Housing Services Office will submit a Facilities Engineer Work request to DPW Work Reception for consideration in the FY22 Annual Work Plan, Reece said. DPW will then present the project to the senior commander in fall 2021 and if approved, some quality of life improvements could be made over the following 18-24 months.
Long-term, the survey will help us make informed decisions about where to make future improvements in a tight fiscal environment, Reece said.
“The only way a change can be made is by the Soldiers voicing your opinions,” McMillan said. “This survey is a way your voice can be heard. Your opinion matters.”
For Soldiers who are currently experiencing maintenance issues in the barracks, the Fort Campbell DPW is ready to resolve the issues, Reece said.
“The DPW is well-staffed to support most all your barracks maintenance needs,” he said. “If it’s broken, we’ll fix it. If you observe any facility component that is broken or not functioning to standard, please call the DPW Work Reception line at 270-798-1200 for emergencies or submit a work order electronically from the Fort Campbell Intranet Home Page ‘DPW Work Request’ submission tab.”