FORT POLK, La. — Col. Sam Smith, Fort Polk garrison commander, and garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Nielson, along with representatives from the Directorate of Public Works, conducted a Tiger Team barracks inspection July 26 of the 519th Military Police Battalion barracks.
As stated in Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk Policy 3, Single Enlisted Soldier’s Living Standards for the Barracks and the Buddy Programs, the purpose of the inspections are to enforce standards, care for Soldiers and identify shortfalls in maintenance, safety or living standards.
During the inspection, Smith, Nielson and a representative from DPW, went through rooms on each floor of the barracks and discussed issues with resident Soldiers that ranged from inoperable air conditioning to non-working appliances and burned out light bulbs.
In many cases, Soldiers were not aware of the Army Maintenance Application, or ArMA. For Soldiers who reside in the barracks, ArMA allows them to instantly interact with public works clerks instead of making walk-in appointments or phone calls. ArMA is available on the Digital Garrison app.
ArMA uses a simple interface where residents can submit requests and provide a description of their case. Residents can take photos of the maintenance problem using the app’s camera feature and access a maintenance catalog and list of services.
Smith said he and Nielson are part of the inspections to insure high quality of life standards are upheld across the installation.
“It’s not just about projects we do on the installation, or the housing money we’re investing for our Families, it’s also about making sure we are providing quality living conditions and barracks rooms for our single soldiers,” Smith said. “We discovered things in today’s inspection that need to be fixed, which is the purpose of these Tiger Team barracks inspections: to find deficiencies and get the resources to help.”
To get the installation’s Soldiers more involved in keeping standards high in their living quarters, Smith said he is looking at developing a type of competition to reward Soldiers whose barracks are in the best condition.
“We’re looking at maybe giving all of the Soldiers who live in the barracks that grade out the best a three-day pass, or something similar,” Smith said. “We’re still working it, but I think we can come up with a way to get Soldiers invested in taking better care of their living areas.”
Tiger Team inspections are scheduled for the last Tuesday of each month.