January 28, 2010
Town hall meeting forum for single Soldiers' issues, concerns
by Tina Ray
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A Soldier stood at the single Soldier Town Hall meeting Friday and voiced concerns about transportation issues for junior enlisted Soldiers. The Soldier asked about having an on-call service, similar to taxi pick up, for Soldiers to get from point to point.
The Fort Bragg shuttle service provides a means of transportation to travel across the installation and the shuttle and taxi services are good options for Soldiers to use, said Garrison Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Sultan A. Muhammad. However, each new shuttle route costs about $250,000 a year to operate, said Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg Garrison commander. This year is a "fiscally-constrained" year, he said.
The single Soldier Town Hall meeting was held at 9:30 a.m. at the Main Post Theater.
Fort Bragg began hosting monthly single Soldier town halls with installation leadership to allow Soldiers to vet issues affecting their well-being on Fort Bragg, said Tiffany Vedvick, Fort Bragg customer service officer. The meetings provide a venue for informing and providing updates on programs affecting single Soldiers, such as the First Sergeants Barracks Program and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.
Soldiers can also voice their concerns on the Interactive Customer Evaluation at www.bragg.army.mil/ICE, Vedvick said. Another venue to address issues is through focus groups and forms and through the Annual Customer Service Assessment.
"We want to make sure that we are the premier installation; that we are the top dog in the Army," Vedvick said.
Housing issues were also raised at the meeting. Soldiers expressed concerns about workers entering their barracks for maintenance without leaving a note informing them of the visit.
The responsibility of daily facilities management of the barracks was transferred from the units to the garrison staff, said Greg Jackson, chief of housing, Directorate of Public Works.
FSBP manages more than 16,000 barrack spaces on Fort Bragg with a staff of 65 people, said Jackson. It conducts preventive maintenance such as changing air filters monthly and checking the barracks when Soldiers have been deployed for 30 days.
But, not all questions could be resolved at the town hall meeting. Some of the issues are chain-of-command issues, Muhammad said.
"We've got to provide you with a quality of life commensurate with your service," Muhammad told the Soldiers.
Pvt. 2 Kenneth Slater of the 586th Network Support Company said he was ordered to attend the meeting by his chain of command.
"I'm seeing what the town has to offer and what activities I can participate in," said Slater, who has been a Soldier for 11 months and is new to Fort Bragg.
One upcoming activity for single Soldiers is a speed-dating event planned for Feb. 5, from 7 to 10 p.m., at Sports U.S.A.
The $5 cover charge includes food, drinks, fun and door prizes, said Sgt. James Soto, BOSS
president. pre-registration is required and can be done online at fortbraggmwr.com.
Town Hall events are open to any single Soldier at Fort Bragg. Single Soldiers may also submit issues all year round through the Community First Initiative or the Army Family Action Plan. Issue forms are available online at www.fortbraggmwr.com/afap or on the BOSS Web site.
The next single Soldier Town Hall event is scheduled for Feb. 19, from 9:30 a.m. until noon, at the Main Post Theater.
For more information about the single Soldier Town Hall meetings, call 396-0339 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.