CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Commander Col. Michael Tremblay and Command Sgt. Maj. Antonio Lopez hosted the first "Straight Talk with the Commander," Nov. 14.
The event provided an opportunity for the hosts and attendees to engage and communicate openly about various topics, projects and programs here.
Members of various local social media groups were the first invitees to participate in the event.
The day began with a command brief, followed by visits to various Humphreys' organizations, including the Housing Office, Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) Office and the Army Community Services, in Maude Hall.
"We are here today to have an open and transparent dialogue and to ensure correct information is shared," said Tremblay. "We want to take this time to clarify misinformation and introduce new facilities, programs and policies. And, this is our first pilot event, so please let us know your feedback for future consideration."
The new Teen Center, Department of Emergency Services/Provost Marshal Office and the Community Activity Center were also introduced and visited on post. Directors and staff from each respective areas provided quick overviews and answered questions from the attendees.
The event concluded at the River Bend Golf Course with lunch and Q&A session with Humphreys' leadership, and its partners.
Karen Lawrie, a Humphreys Air Force Facebook member, gave her experience after the tour.
"I thought the day was very successful," she said. "The participants were engaged and interested in learning about the improvements happening all over Humphreys for the active duty and family members, as well as civilians. It was very evident that [USAG] Humphreys and 8th Army Leadership are interested in implementing quality of life changes to make Korea the "'Assignment of Choice.'
"I also enjoyed seeing the new Teen Center and learning about other recreational opportunities coming soon," she added. "I think the best part was the dialogue between the participants and the leadership, about concerns and problems, and the spouses getting a chance to voice their thoughts and suggestions."
Angie Alvis, a member of the South of Seoul and Pyeongtaek Food and Travel Facebook pages, also thought the event was insightful, but hopes to find more information on service members and their families living off post.
"My biggest take away is that if there is an issue, they [USAG leaderships] are either working on a solution or they don't know about it," she said. "I am also blown away by the openness and approachability of everyone on the leadership team. It is really something all leadership teams should strive to emulate and is a model for how other bases should operate.
"However, I left with a nagging thought of what is being done to help people feel connected and comfortable outside the base," Alvis said. "This seems especially poignant with 60 percent of Humphreys Soldiers and families living off base. There is definitely more that can be done to help families integrate into the communities that they live in."
Camp Humphreys Spouse Facebook member, Cassi Friday, also gave her opinion on the tour.
"The thing I liked most was taking a bus tour and stopping at various locations, to learn more about the installation and services," Friday said. "I found DES to be very helpful and the visit to the Youth Center was nice.
"I appreciated this event and the open, transparent communication between the community and garrison leadership. The leaders here at Humphreys are making good-hearted changes, based on feedback received and it was nice to be able to directly participate in the conversation with Colonel Tremblay and Command Sergeant Major Lopez," she added.
With an overall positive response received from the tour, the garrison leadership plans for future opportunities for various groups.
"This event gave a great opportunity for members of the Humphreys community to get a closer look at what's happening here," Tremblay said. "It gave us a chance to get to know the community, clarify misinformation and provide information on a personal level.
"With the positive feedback we received from this first attempt, I see this as a quarterly event moving forward, to incorporate various members of the community and modifying each event to meet the group needs," he said. "More to follow."