Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commander, speaks during the Community Information Town Hall Nov. 5 at the NCO Club on post.
Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commander, speaks during the Community Information Town Hall Nov. 5 at the NCO Club on post. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Jackson will be moving to Health Protection Alpha + Nov. 9, the installation commander announced during a Community Information Town Hall, or CIT.

Members of the Fort Jackson community met at the NCO Club Nov. 5 for the CIT Hall to “enhance the relationships” and make Fort Jackson a vibrant place to work.

The CIT is aimed at connecting Families with the available resources on post and updating the community on events taking place in the next few months.

“A lot of the information that’s going to be put out will be specific to the holiday season,” said Col. Ryan D. Hanson, garrison commander, about what would be going on during the event. “So a lot of information that is going to be put out will be specific to the holiday season, for example, what’s taking place in (Department of Defense Education Activity Schools), or at (Moncrief Army Health Clinic).”

Hanson asked those in attendance to pass the information on to those not able to attend or watch via live stream.

“One of the challenges we have is making sure you all know … what’s happening on post and around post directly increasing the quality of life for you and your Families,” said Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis. Some recent changes that improved the quality of life included reopening Gate 5 and residents being able to receive food deliveries from off-post vendors, he added.

Michaelis and Hanson were joined by leaders of various directorates and partners in excellence who outlined their upcoming events and initiatives.

“This forum really provides a vision board in making sure we put our workforce and people first, and we focus on the quality of life,” Michaelis said while illustrating how the CIT fits in with his priorities outlined in his 90 day assessment of Fort Jackson. “When I think about people first, I think about how do we enable and empower units, Soldiers, civilians and their Families to be the best version of themselves.” Focusing on quality of life entails evaluating programs and infrastructures on post, such as barracks and dining facilities, are where they should be.

“On Nov. 9 I will declare the post is moving to HPCON Alpha+,” he said. “What it does for us is opens up some resources. One of the primary resources I want to make sure your Soldiers and Families have access to 100% capacity at the Child Development Centers.”

Michaelis also added the mask policy is tied to local positivity rates and Fort Jackson is “really close” to being able to change that policy. He said he would be able to make a decision if there are fewer than 50 positive cases of COVID per week over a two week period.

Among others at the forum Dr. Raymond Burke, Pierce Terrace Elementary School principal spoke about updates to the DODEA schools on post; Col. Tara Hall, MAHC commander provided updates on vaccinations and prescriptions; Sunny Bolton spoke about Child, Youth Services programs; the Garrison Housing Office spoke about the upcoming housing surveys; and Judy Boley, Fort Jackson Family Homes manager on Fort Jackson gave a status update to maintenance procedures.

“Our work orders have dropped from 850 to 500,” Boley said. “Our team is working aggressively on the backlog …” She added the self-help store is still closed but they are working to get it back open.

Questions were also taken from the audience and from those viewing the event remotely on Facebook.

“Those who want to be a part of the solution please come to the table,” Michaelis said concluding the CIT with an invitation to provide feedback to the installation. “The power of one person’s voice brought to the table actually caused us to relook how we do herbicides here on post.

“So don’t discount your voices. If you have something you want to bring to the table, please bring it to the table.”

For more information or to watch the CIT in its entirety visit: https://www.facebook.com/USArmyGarrisonFortJackson/videos/269161738342842