THE old adage, "if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there," is a simple truth. However, for Department of Defense personnel who've set their sights on an assignment to South Korea with U.S. Army Garrison Daegu and other organizations, a greater truth is that neither distractions nor diversions will interfere with their determined efforts to experience a tour in the Land of the Morning Calm.

For these Soldiers, Family members and DOD civilians, a tour with USAG Daegu in the southern part of the peninsula means becoming a part of what U.S. Army Garrison Daegu commander Col. Terry D. Hodges proudly trumpets as "a strategic and enduring hub that supports tour normalization in Korea."

The next 10 years will see a marked increase in the number of personnel in the Daegu area, as tour normalization truly takes hold. "We will see more and more servicemembers with command sponsorship, bringing their Families for two or three year tours. That's outstanding. A tour in the land of the Morning Calm will be just like a tour anywhere else, with the envious advantage of being here in this beautiful, modern country. Bring your Family, stay for two or three years. Bottom line, this is tour normalization."

"Terms like 'strategic and enduring hub' boil down to this: USAG Daegu and Camps Henry, Walker, George, Defense Reutilization & Marketing Office A'po, Busan Storage Facility and Pier 8, are not going away," Hodges said. "As the Army realigns its 'footprint' in Korea, we will focus on supporting our troops and Families, and our great ally the Republic of Korea, from two areas of concentration-Pyongtaek (USAG Humphreys) and here in Area IV, in the Daegu, Waegwan and Busan clusters."

Explaining how this will affect incoming personnel, Hodges said that that process has already begun. He said that in 2009, Area IV was introduced to a state-of-the-art community activity center on Camp Carroll. The facility has already earned recognition as a centerpiece for supporting Soldiers.

"Just to give you another example of how all of this is coming together, just look at Camp Walker," said Hodges. "Construction is already underway for the new child development center. The expansion of this facility will enable USAG Daegu to provide quality care for the increased number of children who will be arriving as tour normalization really takes hold. I will also add that the greater capacity at the CDC means a greater need for qualified caregivers, and that translates into more available jobs for spouses and others who are eligible.

"I might add that CDC-age children are not the only group that will grow. We can expect to see a similar development in the number of school age kids-they haven't been overlooked either. Some $9.9 million is being invested in a new high school," explained Hodges.

This high school is under construction-or rather, renovation, as two existing buildings on Camp Walker undergo conversion to provide an additional 500-seat capacity, ready for operation in the 2011-2012 school year. Hodges said that the new school would be fully staffed and equipped by the Department of Defense Education Activity. Daegu American School, currently Area IV's K-12 school, will remain in use as an elementary and middle school.

"There are a number of things that occur daily that help USAG Daegu prepare for the future," said Hodges. "Those small, but significant things include anything from efficient bus service to environmental stewardship; from the best military police to our award-winning fire department; from inter-service cooperation with the Marines at Mujuk and the Navy at Chinhae, to the signed MOUs (memorandums of understanding) and MOAs (memorandums of agreement) with our Korean hosts; from excellent relations with our neighbors around Area IV, to our comrades here in Daegu at Team 19, the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. All these things can be summed up this way: Army Community of Excellence.

"A tour in Daegu means that you live and work in one of the brightest stars in the Installation Management Command constellation. We were the winners of the 2009 Bronze ACOE award, and finalists again in 2010. Do you know what that means' It means that USAG Daegu consistently succeeds as one of the best garrisons in the entire United States Army."

Proud of the accomplishments and the great strides made by USAG Daegu, Hodges said that perseverance and dedication reflect the attitude of the Area IV community.

Page last updated Tue July 27th, 2010 at 18:05