New quarters renew morale
December 1, 2011
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- Today's Army barracks are much different than the days where two Soldiers lived in one room with bunk beds and foot lockers and shared one bathroom on each floor.
Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, who reside in the barracks, moved into a new barracks building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Nov. 28. The 3-38th is one of many units who are moving their Soldiers to improve the quality of life in today's Army.
"The transition was pretty easy," said 1st Sgt. Benjamin Boyce, 3-38. "We started and finished moving yesterday."
Some of the improvements in the new barracks include each room having its own stove, washer, dryer and a full bathroom. Two Soldiers share a kitchen and bathroom common area but have their own sleeping area with a walk in closet.
"Having a bathroom right here and not having to walk all the way down the hall in the middle of the night is my favorite part of the new room," said Spc. Kyle Wilhelmi, a gunner for B Company, 3-38th.
The 3-38th's old barracks had community bathrooms, showers, kitchen and communal areas. Now, Soldiers have all of these amenities in their own rooms. This makes their living arrangement similar to living in an apartment. This change is intended to increase the morale and quality of life for Soldiers in the Army.
"This levels the playing field between the quality of life of married and single Soldiers," said Sgt. Ross Downey, team leader, B Co., 3-38th. "I think this is the Army pursuing its promise to raise the quality of life for the single Soldiers."
The 3-38th's new barracks is one of six new buildings in the complex. Over the past few years, new barracks have been built in several different locations across Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Along with the modern living conditions, the new buildings are environmentally friendly. They are designed to save power and built with Eco friendly materials.
"It's good for the Soldiers to live more like adults to prepare them more for when they get out," said Downey. "The only thing they're missing now is paying the bills."