By Michele Vowell, Courier assistant editor May 5, 2014
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Moving can be a stressful time in a Soldier's life, whether he or she is single or has a Family.
"We're here to help and to try and take that stress away from them," said Chris Leary, assistant leasing manager at Campbell Crossing LLC, Lend Lease's privatized Family on-post housing community. "It's one less stressful thing. At least they know their housing is secured."
To be eligible to live in on-post housing at Fort Campbell, Soldiers must be stationed here and have accompanying dependents. Eligibility is verified via PCS orders and the DD Form 1172, which is the DEERS enrollment.
Eligible inbound Soldiers should visit the "Become a Resident" page at www.campbellcrossingllc.com, to fill out a housing application first.
"We receive many applications online on a daily basis," Leary said. "It's a simple process. All they have to do is upload their application, upload their documents, and we receive it and process it."
With 150-200 applications submitted per month, the process time can take between two and four days.
"At that point they get put on a waiting list, based on the information they have provided us. The eligibility date is the same across the board. That's equal to the day they sign out [from their last duty station] to PCS to Fort Campbell," Leary said. "Until they are on the wait list, we do not know they are coming [here]. They can call and get the information from us. Each base is different."
Housing applicants are assigned a leasing consultant, who then helps them to find a home that meets their needs and their wants. Soldiers and Family members may search the Campbell Crossing website to narrow down their preferences.
"Based on what they tell us, what they qualify for, we try to match it," Leary said. "Timing is a big key as well -- trying to match a housing assignment to their arrival. That's our biggest goal."
Currently, Fort Campbell has 4,457 homes in 21 neighborhoods. Homes have between two and five bedrooms each.
"Every home goes through a safety check and an inspection before that home can be turned over to property management for occupancy," said Deborah Earnest, leasing manager. "We also have government inspectors who go and inspect the homes periodically, to make certain that standard is met across the board. So, it's a checks and balance system, which we welcome because it lets our Army partner know we're providing the best product possible."
Once the home assignment is completed, the Soldier reports to one of the four community offices.
"Once we give them their keys, they move in and turn in their 72-hour checklist. Anything they feel like they will be charged for on move out, they bring that to us. It will be documented and placed in the resident's file," said Judy Hancock, community manager for Werner Park.
Hancock said the job of the community office is to take care of Soldiers and their Families.
Just before the busy PCS season heats up in May, Campbell Crossing has three- and four-bedroom home vacancies for all rank groups. Leary noted that there are several advantages to living on post.
"You really do get a lot for your money when you look at it item by item," she said. "Convenience -- being close to everything Fort Campbell has to offer. Having the support of other Families that are going through the same thing you're going through. Having everything in one payment. Everything is taken care of with BAH. Great support from the maintenance team and community staff. Not fighting that gate traffic -- that's a plus."
For Soldiers who are not sure they want to live on post, "… we're a good backup plan," Leary said. "Go ahead, put your name on a waiting list. Your name can stay on that waiting list for as long as you are stationed at Fort Campbell. It's always good to have a backup plan."
On-post living is not only for military Families. In fact, more than 6,700 Fort Campbell Soldiers currently live on the installation in the barracks.
All privates through sergeants assigned to Fort Campbell that are single with no dependents and unaccompanied Soldiers that are married to another service member not stationed here are required to be assigned to the barracks.
All incoming Soldiers must report to the 1st Lt. Robert Kalsu Replacement Company (20th Replacement), 6916 Desert Storm Ave., and 34th Street.
Once a Soldier is assigned to a unit, he will be assigned to a living space, said Marvin E. Brown, interim chief of Fort Campbell's First Sergeant's Barracks Program.
"That brigade manages the barracks as a whole. [Soldiers will] go to the brigade FSBP office. They'll get a briefing on the barracks, and the barracks policy. They'll get a key to their room. They'll be checked into the system," Brown said.
Soldiers should inspect their rooms carefully and report any discrepancies. Within 72 hours, they should have a joint assignment inspection.
Fort Campbell has about 10,320 individual living spaces in the barracks. Most barracks meet the 1+1 standard which houses two Soldiers who share a common bath and kitchen area. Soldiers are assigned to barracks based on the requirements of their unit, according to www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil.
Although brigades manage the barracks, Brown said his office, located at Campbell Crossing, 850 Georgia Ave., will assist any Soldier in need, as well as the units themselves.
"The units manage the day-to-day operation of the barracks. As civilians, we provide oversight, barracks programming, mentorship and training," he said.
Once a single Soldier himself, Brown lived in barracks at various duty stations. He knows the stress associated with moving to an unfamiliar post into new living quarters. Now, working with the FSBP, he strives to help make living at Fort Campbell pleasant for the Soldiers serving here.
"My big thing is the quality of life for the Soldiers," he said. "Being that I lived in the barracks I remember the conditions when I would come into a room and it would be trashed … I didn't like it then and I don't expect that now. Single Soldiers should come into a living space that is clean and suitable."
The sizes of the rooms at Fort Campbell barracks vary, but meet the minimum square footage as required by the Army Facilities Management AR 420-1. All rooms are furnished with beds, night stands, a dresser, a chest and entertainment center, according to www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil.
"The single Soldier's living environment is just as important as the married Soldier's living environment or somebody that lives off post," Brown said. "They should be given the best quality that we have to offer and not settle for anything less than. They should get a clean, safe, healthy living environment that is user-friendly and suits the needs of a single Soldier."
Brown advises Soldiers PCSing to Fort Campbell to visit the installation's website, www.campbell.army.mil for moving tips and brigade contact information.
"Don't settle for less than good quality," Brown advises Soldiers. "Take care of what you inherit in your living space and leave a better quality product when you leave."
Editor's note: This is the second article in a three-part series about stress-free moves.