More than 400 1st Brigade Soldiers live in the barracks according to Sgt. 1st Class, David Rocha, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, the brigade's barracks manager.All single Soldiers with the rank of sergeant and below are required to live in the barracks. And just like everything in the military, there is a process.First, a Soldier will fill out documents on the Enterprise Military Housing website, www.emh.housing.navy.mil with a certified barracks manager. After completing the eMH form, each Soldier takes inventory of the room and turns it into the barracks manager within five business days. This protects the Soldier and the government property. The condition of every item is documented, and the Soldier only would have to pay for any damage that occurs while he has the issued furnishings.After the forms are done, the room becomes home."A lot of times, the new Soldiers coming in -- this is the first time they spend away from home, so we try to make it as comfortable for them as we can," said Sgt. Bryce Brodeur, barracks manager for the 287th Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion.Soldiers move into a furnished room equipped with a kitchen and dining area, bathroom and walk-in closet. Barracks rooms also have a ceiling fan, desk, rolling chair, nightstand and a bed.They can rearrange and add additional furniture, hang pictures and buy entertainment systems, but Rocha said most Soldiers leave their rooms as is."The less stuff, the better especially when you have to move," said Sgt. Janette Blunt 1st Inf. Div. Soldier, barracks resident and president of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.Blunt advises Soldiers to live minimally and just have the things they need.One thing Soldiers need is knowledge about what is required while living in the barracks.
Brodeur said it is essential to maintain the military's cleanliness standard. Accountability measures are in place and Soldiers have weekly room-checks. Keeping a clean and orderly room will also make the check-out process go smoothly.Though there are rules, there are also perks.Pvt. Sinjin Eurbina a barracks resident from the 97th MP Bn., said a benefit of living in the barracks is having no bills and being on post, close to work and not having to deal with the off-post traffic.Though saving time and money are factors, there are some challenges -- like getting some distance from the workplace."I would encourage Soldiers to find a hobby, and I know many of them do," Blunt said.She said, spiritual, emotional, physical and mental well-being are important to have and maintain, and there are many activities offered on post through the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers programs.While Soldiers are responsible for working on their own self-improvement, the specialists at Directorate of Public Works Housing Division take care of the buildings."They are continuously improving … There are lots of plans in place to upgrade these buildings and make them better for the quality of living," Brodeur said.The barracks are routinely evaluated for needed repairs and upgrades. This year according to Pam Morlewski, Unaccompanied Personnel Housing branch chief, more than half of the 66 barracks buildings are having some kind of work done. The work includes three major renovations, several new boilers, humidity control systems and flooring upgrades.