FIRST program bringing signs of change to fort
May 13, 2010
- Focus groups halping find issues and solutions.
- ICE and CMS fueling change.
FORT SILL, Okla.--Positive changes have been made to Fort Sill and more are on the way.
"We are very proud of the issues being brought forth through Community FIRST and the changes they are making on post," said Mary Miller, customer service manager. "FIRST stands for feedback, issues, resolutions, solutions, today."
Through focus groups, civilians, dependents, retirees and veterans have the opportunity to voice their opinions and bring forth issues that are concerning them along with solution options.
"We try to have at least one focus group a quarter," said Miller. "Because of a retiree focus group in October, you can now receive a map of Fort Sill at any guard gate, and you can see brown directional signs all over post pointing out the directions of specific locations.
"Retirees wanted maps and easy to read signs. Well, they got them. It was that easy."
Eighteen brown directional signs have been placed all over post. Several more are in the plans to be posted.
"We work with the Army Family Action Plan," said Miller. "We hold focus groups to get feedback on improvements that can be made on post. Everybody has an idea of something that needs working on. We receive the issues and discuss them. Some are easy to fix, some need to be sent off for input from other agencies, some need to be sent to higher headquarters and some just aren't feasible.
"We currently have nine active issues that are being worked on. Some issues can be solved in no time at all. We once had an issue with someone wanting signs posted at Rinehart Fitness Center for people to wipe off equipment after use. It took one phone call and the signs were placed. It was that easy.
"One issue that was turned down was Soldiers wanting a different Internet provider in the barracks. We are in year five of a 10-year contract so that can't happen right now."
The next focus group will be June 10 from 9 a.m. to noon in Building 4700.
"The next focus group is for survivor outreach," said Miller. "Anyone, parent, spouse or child, who has lost a loved one in the Army is invited to attend and voice their issues. Nothing can be accomplished unless we know what needs to be accomplished. Colonel (Raymond) Lacey tries to attend some part of every focus group to hear your concerns."
The last focus group before the AFAP conference in September will be July 29.
"The last focus group will be for civilian employees," explained Miller. "We want to hear their issues. We are holding the group in the Garrison Conference Center in Taylor Hall from 9 a.m. to noon. We are bringing the focus group closer to Colonel Lacey to ensure that he will be there."
While there is no need to sign up to attend a focus group, Miller requests that anyone interested in attending call, e-mail or give a shout-out to her so she can be prepared.
"I like to know how many people are planning to attend so that I have enough supplies, coffee, etc," said Miller. "Also, if someone is unable to attend a focus group but still wants their issue heard, they can always e-mail me or submit it through ICE comments."