The care and well-being of our Soldiers and their Families has recently risen to the national spotlight, and here at the Great Place, we are not exempt from the challenges of providing safe, healthy and acceptable housing for our Soldiers and their Families.
First and foremost, I want our Soldiers and Families to understand that under no circumstance will there be any retaliation, reprisal or retribution for letting your chains of command know about any living conditions you feel are not up to standard. This goes for Soldiers in the barracks, and for Soldiers and their Families living on post. We need to have an honest dialogue and completely understand the problems that affect the well-being of our Soldiers and your Families.
Secondly, I am confident that our chains of command understand their responsibilities in supporting our efforts. The community engagement town halls were just one avenue to hear from our Soldiers and their Families. You will see in the upcoming weeks visits from command teams to your houses to ask about your specific living conditions, and your experiences in living in on-post housing. First sergeants will also be going through the barracks. I implore you to be frank and honest with your chains of command so we can accurately assess the current conditions and maintenance processes associated with living on post.
I also want to assure you that this command team is completely committed to ensuring that there is real change at the Great Place for the Soldiers and Families that live here. The Army is re-looking at contracts with our privatized partners, making the maintenance work-order process more transparent, and our privatized partners have agreed to work on a “Tenant Bill of Rights.”
No Soldier should have to worry about the conditions their Families are living in, or feel that they need to get involved when a housing issue occurs. It is unacceptable to me some of the stories we have heard from our Soldiers and their Families and the conditions they have been exposed to, or the challenges they have faced in getting a deficiency corrected. When conditions like this exist, it is a detriment to our readiness, and our Soldiers deserve better. As the command sergeant major of III Corps and Fort Hood, I am personally committed to the welfare and care of our Soldiers and their Families. On behalf of Lt. Gen. Funk, I can assure you that this is our No. 1 priority, and we will do our part to earn back your trust and hold ourselves accountable for being an advocate for you, the Soldiers we are charged with leading.