NATICK, Mass. -- With a renewed focus on customer service and creating great relationships, the first weekend in June kicked off the beginning of the ongoing pursuit of excellence for the USAG Natick and Fort Devens Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation teams.

"Operation Excellence" Training was held in the Lord Community Activities Center on Friday and Saturday, June 11th and 12th. This introductory block of training emphasizes the importance of customer service in successfully serving Soldiers, Family Members, Civilians and Retirees. This initial block of training focused on the process of welcoming team members to the FMWR family.

"With the renewed focus on treating our customers to world-class service, we from the FMWR Academy realized that although the online training is important for orientation and is valuable in providing an overview to what we do, the impact of personal training, specifically designed to meet the needs of the individual installations will prove invaluable", said Rick Bosch, FMWR Customer Service Training Specialist based out of West Point, but responsible for Natick and the other US Army installations in New York and Massachusetts region.

"Natick is a perfect example of why the 'one-size-fits-all' mentality doesn't always work", he continued. "I came in about 3 months ago and sat down with the directors of FMWR and ACS and worked with them to design a model, based on the basic 'Operation Excellence' principles but tailoring it to meet the needs of the unique demographic make-up of the Natick community.

The training was attended by both leaders and front line employees in the FMWR organization with a focus on letting the FMWR team know that they are part of a much larger team, and the work they do at Natick and Fort Devens goes a long way towards supporting the United States Army. Special emphasis is being given to the way employees are "onboarded" (brought into the organization) and how managers and leaders can best position employees for future success.

"We're a pretty small organization, one of the smallest teams I've ever been on for the amount of work that we do" said Javier Rojas, Recreation Specialist and Operations Manager for the Fort Devens Community Activities Center. "Rick did a great job of reminding me that the work is not only vitally important, but that we're part of a world-wide network of professionals. That small part of the training left me feeling re-energized and important".

Rojas wasn't the only one energized by the training, the USAG Natick Army Community Service Director, Kent Brickman also was very impressed;

"I'm a relatively new member to the FMWR team here in New England, but I was lucky to come onboard during a time of tremendous growth and focus. My director, (Patric McGuane) and I have been pushing the importance of customer service as the quickest way for our relatively new organization to make a meaningful and dramatic impact. This training really hammered this home to not just our employees, but to us directors as well. "

The already great customer service culture in New England is sure to blossom with the implementation of "Operation Excellence" principles and practices in the future. The small but willing and eager FMWR team will do what it takes to get the job done in serving the Soldiers, Family Members, Civilians and Retirees in New England.