Fort Jackson leadership takes the quality of Soldier barracks seriously.
Senior enlisted leaders and barracks noncommissioned officers walked through the Freddie J. Stowers Single Soldier Complex Oct. 6 to “identify major flaws in the barracks.” The complex is home to some of Fort Jackson’s lower enlisted personnel on active duty.
The purpose of the walk-through is to look for things that could pose a threat to a Soldier’s life, health or safety, said Post Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier. Tavernier led a group that included Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Cesar Duran and Command Sgt. Maj. Erin Hicks, of Moncrief Army Health Clinic.
“This all stemmed from an incident that happened at Fort Bragg,” he said. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston toured barracks on Fort Bragg, North Carolina’s Smoke Bomb Hill and found troops were living in unhealthy rooms including those with mold.
The Army directed all commanders from every company and battalion to inspect every room. Tavernier said this walk-through was not part of that inspection.
Tavernier spoke to the senior enlisted leaders before they walked through the complex and asked them to talk with their Soldiers about what is going on in the barracks.
When you have the opportunity, talk to your Soldiers so you can find out what is going on in the barracks, he said.
Fort Jackson’s “Garrison right now is doing the best they can” to identify and fix problems in the complex, Tavernier said.
The post has heard and fulfilled requests from Soldiers living in the barracks.
One of the Soldiers’ concerns is not being able to cook in their rooms.
“Soldiers have been very concerned about the inability to cook in their rooms,” Tavernier said. “They don’t like the fact they have to come down here (the day room) to cook. I’ve talked to some single Soldiers that are unaware that they can use Instant Pots and air fryers.”
The Garrison Commander Col. Ryan Hanson authorized anything that is not open flames can be used in the barracks. The garrison commander has the power to accept the risk and worked with the senior commander to allow it.
They toured the barracks and noted places that needed attention such as landscaping and cobwebs in various locations. They also visited some Soldiers' rooms to see how some of the troops live.
They visited the room of Sgt. Danielle Hicks with 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment.
“I am happy they are going through the barracks,” she said. “They are here to serve us and make improvements.”
Tavernier asked the leaders to let their Soldiers “understand we are taking measures to improve the living conditions in the barracks.”