Moves made easier: New self-service kiosk opens at Fort Hood
July 15, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas, July 18, 2011 -- Fort Hood’s Directorate of Logistics Transportation Office opened the door on a new Defense Personal Property System kiosk in the Copeland Soldier Service Center July 8, 2011, in an effort to increase efficiency and ease the burden of moving Soldiers.
The kiosk, located in Room A111A in the center, contains 10 computer workstations where Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians can coordinate their moves, whether they are government-funded or personally procured.
Soldiers may use the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, from any computer with an Internet connection, but the kiosk, the first of its kind in the Department of Defense, provides more than just computers, according to Gladys Yoshinaka, installation transportation officer.
“This allows them to come in here and not only access the computer but have access to a counselor who can give them the guidance,” she said.
The idea for the kiosk originated after the Department of Defense announced intentions to introduce an online system.
“We collectively, here in the transportation office, got to thinking about how that was going to impact the way we do business,” Robert Chadwick, DOL transportation chief of personal services, said. “One of the things we came up with was the DPS kiosk as a facility for Soldiers who don’t have computers or have questions.”
Turning the kiosk idea into reality was a long process, but one well worth the effort, according to Fort Hood Garrison Commander, Col. Mark Freitag.
“Several months ago, I was informed that it was coming online after about a year-and-a half of working toward it,” Freitag said. “It took a long time, but it’s a great product and service that we provide for our Soldiers, Families and civilians.”
According to Freitag, the execution of the plan was in line with Fort Hood standards.
“The facility itself is first-class,” he said. “It’s got all the decorator touches, it’s got brand-new computers, it’s got brand-new equipment. We could have grabbed a bunch of old gray desks and old computers, but no; at Fort Hood, we do this the right way. It’s just amazing. It’s a beautiful facility.”
“If you’re a people-person, there’s someone here to help, and if you’re a computer-person, you’ll have the computer right in front of you,” Sgt. 1st Class Michael Thomas, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Task Force ODIN, and one of the kiosk’s first customers, said. “This is a good idea and a good step for the Army.”
Bob Bishop, Fort Hood’s director of logistics, said the Interactive Customer Evaluation reports echo Thomas’s approval.
“From our Interactive Customer Service comments, we’ve only seen one negative ICE comment, which we think was attributable to the process,” Bishop said. “All the other ICE comments -- and we’ve got numerous (comments) -- are very positive from a customer service standpoint.”
Yoshinaka said the kiosk increases customer service, as well as efficiency.
“The fact that we can handle more customers at one time is a great advantage,” she said. “Prior to this, it would not be unusual to see a line waiting to get in to our office to see a counselor. Now, you come in, sit down and you’re served right away. I see nothing but benefits coming from this facility.”
Freitag called the new kiosk a success story for the Fort Hood community.
“I think that it provides an additional convenience for them as they go through a stressful time in their life,” he said. “As I said, the future of the Army begins at Fort Hood because we’ve got so many people coming up with great ideas and then implementing them. I think it speaks to the volumes of dedication and the initiative and innovation that our transportation office here at Fort Hood provides to the community.”