Conference highlights quality of life at Fort Polk
During the Oct. 29 quality of life conference, Soldiers, Family members and Department of the Army civilians held breakout sessions after each presentation to discuss and suggest areas of improvement. (Photo Credit: Chuck Cannon) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. — Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk leadership hosted a quality of life conference Oct. 29 at the installation’s Warrior Center.

More than 100 Soldiers, Family members and Department of the Army civilians attended the conference which highlighted advancements made in the JRTC and Fort Polk’s quality of life, as well as a looked ahead at other projects slated for the post identified as one of four Army installations to receive special quality of life improvements.

“We had great participation from our units, chain of command, spouses and community,” Col. Sam Smith, Fort Polk garrison commander, said. “We have made great strides in quality of life programs.”

Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner, commander, JRTC and Fort Polk, shared with those in attendance his quality of life priorities: education, housing, childcare, health care, Army spouse employment and Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation. They support his priorities: care for people, build readiness and succeed in JRTC and Fort Polk campaigns.

Presentations were given by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Directorate of Public Works, and Housing, to include privatized accompanied housing and barracks.

“We are committed to improving quality of life initiatives for our Soldiers, Families, Retirees and community,” Smith said. “Critical initiatives we continue to prioritize are barracks, family housing, childcare and development, on-base shopping and services, employment and recreation.”

Breakout sessions after each presentation allowed groups of five to eight attendees the opportunity to discuss the specific areas and come up with suggestions for improvements.

The groups then shared their suggestions with leadership, who acknowledged the suggestions and promised to see which might be viable.

“We received some good feedback and are reviewing to determine how we can prioritize the ideas, programs and initiatives with the resourcing,” Smith said.

This is the second quality of life conference held at Fort Polk.