Keeping standards still important even as installations close
May 23, 2011
- Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem
- final day of operation Sept. 15
- Civilian employees and Soldiers
- cleaning and restoring
Garrison Command Sergeant Major
Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem
As Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem get closer to its final day of operation Sept. 15, many of our Civilian employees and Soldiers are busying themselves preparing for their eventual move by cleaning and restoring their homes for either rental or sale.
Motivated by the knowledge such work could add to the value and increase the chance of a sale or rental agreement, these individuals are busy doing all they can to make their homes as presentable as possible. While the selling or renting of a home may not apply to the 92 Soldiers living in the barracks, it is equally important for them to apply the same commitment to making their living areas as clean as possible before departing. Our Army is an organization built on standards.
At Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, the policy outlined in Fort McPherson Regulation 210-5 is that when Soldiers move into the barracks, the room is clean, livable and has no deficiencies. Thus, it is required Soldiers leave their room in the same way in which they received it.
While no new Soldiers may be coming in to the installation to fill a departing Soldier's barracks room, it is still important to adhere to these standards.
As professionals, we should always want to leave things better than the way we found them. No matter what the barracks or other buildings are used for after we're gone, it is important to turn them over in a condition that leaves a good reflection on our Army. For most Soldiers, keeping the standard of maintaining a clean, hygienic room is not a problem.
Still, there are some common pitfalls that some Soldiers miss when trying to clear their room. Many of these shortcomings come from those areas tucked out of sight, areas such as inside the refrigerator and microwave. Both should be clear of any food or crumbs that can attract pests.
Also, another common missed area is the shower. Showers should be cleaned of grit and mildew. Pull back the shower curtain and look behind it to see if any soap scum or grit has accumulated there. Soldiers should also be sure to dust under and inside furniture in addition to the outside.
Trash bags should be emptied in appropriate dumpsters before attempting to clear, and all wall decorations should be removed. Floors should likewise be sweep clean of dirt and debris. Because there is no regularly scheduled room inspection standard, some Soldiers may be a little behind the cleaning power curve.
I encourage these individuals to begin the clean up process now. Although each Soldier clearing the barracks receive a pre-inspection before their final inspection, Soldiers should approach that pre-inspection like the final inspection, rather than just believing they can use the pre-inspection as a bare minimum guideline of what they need to clean to properly clear. Soldiers should schedule a pre-inspection at least a week in advance of clearing.
Such standards don't just apply to individual rooms; Soldiers should also maintain the barracks common areas, especially now while there are still quite a few Soldiers living in the barracks. There is an old adage that many hands make the work load light, and as Soldiers depart, there will be less people to share in this responsibility.
Maintaining good order in the common areas now will make it much easier for the last remaining Soldiers to keep these areas up to standard.
Finally, Soldiers should have all their room keys ready for turn-in, including their mail room key, which must be turned in to the mailroom in Bldg. 477. Though the installations may be closing, they are still our homes and workplaces until the gates are closed.
Even if we don't technically own the property, we should still show it the same care and respect we would if we did own it. To do anything less would be show a lack of integrity and appreciation of the Army values.