First Sergeants Barracks Initiative

Tuesday August 12, 2008

What is it?

First Sergeants Barracks Initiative (FSBI) is part of the Army plan to improve the quality of life for single Soldiers, and to standardize the management of barracks Armywide. It takes the responsibility of maintaining daily operations away from assigned units, and puts it on garrison staff in a style similar to property and apartment management offices.

Goals of this program include improving barracks utilization, managing vacant barracks space during deployment, reducing maintenance response time, decreasing building damages and extending the life of the facilities. This improves the quality of life for Soldiers and is a proven cost saver for the Army by consciously taking better care of the barracks and reducing payments for basic allowance for housing to single Soldiers.

What has the Army done?

In January 2005, the Secretary of the Army directed the management of barracks and a focused sustainment program at an estimated cost of $260 million per year. The Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) responded with direction to all installations to adopt a FSBI program.

IMCOM centrally funds startup costs and garrisons fund annual operating costs. Garrisons are given flexibility to develop their FSBI organizations based on their scope and resources, and on the general guidance on organization and staffing levels provided in the IMCOM guidance. This is being implemented across the Army from 2008 through 2011.

Why is this important to the Army?

FSBI is built upon Army leader's full involvement in the well-being of junior enlisted Soldiers living in the barracks. It will enhance the commander's ability to concentrate on his primary organizational missions, while still maintaining influence in the welfare of junior enlisted Soldiers.

Taking care of Soldiers is a readiness issue. Installations are communities where the Army lives, trains, works, mobilizes and deploys. The quality and character of these installations is the keystone to caring for the Army's most precious resource. The underlying premise is that "our Soldiers living on our installations deserve the same quality of life afforded the society they have pledged to defend."


The FSBI Operations Manual


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Aug. 16, 2008: 25th Anniversary of Army Family Action Plan


"We look at our barracks as our pacing item for IMCOM - take care of our single Soldiers and put them in the best barracks that we can. The barracks are home and we've come a long way from open-bay barracks to today's one-plus-one concept that provides privacy and modern conveniences."

-Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson, assistant chief of staff for installation management and commanding general, U.S. Army Installation Management Command

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