WIESBADEN, German -- “He’s got great customer service skills – he’s always professional with the customers.”
That is what Wiesbaden Automotive Skills Center Director Richard Babcock had to say about the work of Mechanic Thomas Mills.
“He’s a quick learner. He’s already learned how to repair brakes and to do alignments,” said Babcock. “He’s just a reliable, good guy.”
Mills, who has worked at the center for about a year after having accompanied his military spouse to Wiesbaden, said, “I like to work on cars.”
“It’s been good working with MWR and helping people,” Mills said, describing the range of challenges presented by patrons – everything from fixing flat tires to brake repairs.
When a customer comes in, “we’ll look at the vehicle and see what’s going on to determine what parts they’ll need to order before making an appointment with us to fix the car,” said the 26-year-old from Blackstock, S.C.
Mills, who served as a full-time National Guard member in the United States before moving to Germany and transferring to an overseas Army Reserve unit, said he learned a lot about repairing things while growing up on his family’s farm.
“I learned a lot of stuff around the farm thanks to my dad and granddad,” he said.
Working at the Wiesbaden Auto Skills Center and in Europe has been a revelation, he explained. “It’s very different than PCSing anywhere else – working with a mix of different people, including local nationals.” That has included having first-hand exposure to the local culture and other information and opportunities.
Mills said he also appreciates meeting fellow MWR employees who come by the center. “It’s been good … getting to know them. Then when I use their services, it helps.”
Before heading on to their next assignment in a couple of years, Mills said he would also like to acquire some certification to go along with his newly learned skills at the Automotive Skills Center. “I’ve learned the basics and I’ll continue learning,” he said.