By Cpl. Samuel Han (IMCOM)July 13, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- Customer service providers took part in a town hall held here in the South Post Chapel, July 12.
Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, the commanding general for Eighth Army, spoke regarding good customer service and the role that service providers played in making sure that U.S. Servicemembers maintained a good relationship with their host nation: the Republic of Korea.
Johnson started by highlighting the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance, stating the many ways that each nation helped each other out.
"Koreans are exactly the type of allies we want and need," Johnson said. "They were in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and they also helped out with humanitarian aid in Haiti as well as with fighting the pirates off the coast of Africa. Koreans are right by our side fighting for the values that we are upholding."
To keep relations strong, it would be crucial that Community members on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan were doing everything they could to maintain this relationship. Johnson stated that all U.S. Servicemembers and Community members acted as ambassadors to their country. Thus it was their duty to live up to the values of the U.S. in a way that would strengthen the alliance between the two nations.
"We want the Korean people to think, 'thank God these guys are our allies,'" Johnson said.
In order to be good ambassadors, U.S. Servicemembers and Families would need to get in touch with the Korean culture. Only by actively participating with the local community, would they be able to build the friendship with their host nation.
According to Johnson, what this means for customer service providers is that they would need to make sure that incoming Servicemembers and Families could assimilate into their new assignments quickly. Johnson encouraged service providers to go out of their way to make people feel welcome. Ensuring that incoming Servicemembers and Families feel welcomed would help them be more effective and open to new experiences. In addition, Johnson stated that customer service providers needed to guide and encourage incoming Community members to get acquainted with Korea.
"Most of the people who come to Korea stay for a relatively short time," Johnson said. "This means that we have a short time to make them get adjusted. The faster they get adjusted, the faster they will be able to help us."
The final point emphasized by Johnson was that customer service providers needed to continue doing the right thing. Johnson reminded them that all the work they did was valuable and necessary in keeping the ROK-U.S. alliance strong.
"I am proud to get to serve with you," Johnson said. "I know that you do so many things that don't always get awarded. But it's you guys who are doing the mission, and I want to thank you for doing that."