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Copelandís ID card office adjust hours, services to improve service to customers

Were Here to Help
Email   Print   Share By Col. Jerry Tait and Lt. Col. Mary Luddy, III Corps and Fort Hood Inspector General
June 4, 2009 | News
Providing efficient and quality customer service to Soldiers and Family members at the Great Place is a priority.

Recently, the Inspector General office conducted a thorough assessment of the identification card facilities at the Copeland Soldiers Service Center and the military personnel center.

The IG team observed a dedicated staff attentively working with their customers and going the extra mile in service by coordinating with on- and off-post agencies to finalize their transactions.

As the ID card section staff will say, they are doing everything possible to take care of their Fort Hood community. One on-going concern for the ID card section is reducing customer wait times. Currently, the wait time goal is 45 minutes or less. Most of the ID card section staff are prior military and are sensitive to the frustrations of obtaining or renewing ID cards.

Long wait times, sometimes with children, compounds customer frustration when they discover they do not have the proper documents or paperwork.

The Directorate of Human Resources, responsible for the overall operation of ID card sections at Copeland Center and MPC, has implemented several improvements to reduce customer wait time. Upgrading computer software on ID card machines, adding a customer service desk to pre-screen customersí paperwork, and recently hiring more employees were incorporated to enhance their customerís experience.

They also established an ID Card Hot Line at 553-4444 and a Web site at www.hood.army.mil/ag/idcards_info.htm. This Web site provides information on acceptable forms of identification required, hours of operation and answers to frequently asked questions.

Customers can call or access the Web site to ensure they have all the documents required prior to their visit, and that they are arriving during normal customer service hours.

The ID card section provides assistance with DEERS and re-setting Common Access Card PIN numbers. The Copeland Center averages a production of 350-400 ID cards daily and more than 5,000 cards a month.

However, even with such a high volume of customers the staff strives to provide quality service to each customer.

Unfortunately, there are situations where customers have been misinformed by other agencies and arrive at the ID card section only to find out they were given wrong information. To prevent this, the ID card section initiated the ID Card HOT LINE and Web site that lists all eligibility and document requirements.

There are some common misunderstandings concerning the eligibility requirements for Family member ID cards.

One misunderstanding is whether children under the age of 10 are or are not entitled to an ID card.

With few exceptions or conditions under regulatory guidance children younger than 10 may receive a card if they are the child of a joint service couple or a single parent; the childís temporary guardian lives far from the parentís duty station and must use a medical facility other than the facility keeping the childís records; or, the child resides temporarily away from their sponsor who has an ID card while attending school.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been numerous changes in security to both the common access card and the Teslon Card for Military Family members. Due to required security authentication measures, CAC Cards take 8-10 minutes to produce.

However, even with the length of time to produce a CAC card and the number of customers serviced daily, the ID card section staff still maintains the goal of 45 minutes or less for customers to be processed.

To achieve this goal, the addition of a customer service desk to pre-screen customer paperwork and the recent addition of five employees will continue to reduce long wait times and frustration for customers.

Active duty military assigned to a brigade with a Personnel Services Delivery Redesign S1 are provided ID Cards by their unit.

Those active-duty military not assigned to a PSDR Brigade, or whose unit is deployed may use the MPC to obtain their ID cards. Gold Star Family members are given priority assistance at the ID card section when accompanied by a casualty assistance officer and by informing the screening desk they are a Gold Star Family member.

Appointments for Saturdays can be made during normal business hours by calling 287-2518. Appointments available on Saturday are between 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Through June 28 customers are served on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Beginning June 28, the hours of operation on Thursdays will be 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. By rotating employees during lunch, the ID card section is open during the lunch period; however, customer wait time may be longer between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The ID card section is closed on Federal holidays.

Providing quality customer service to the Fort Hood community is a primary goal at the ID card section.

You should notice a difference the next time you go to get your ID card at the Copeland Center or the MPC.

Soldiers and Family members deserve the best, and customer service does make a difference here at the Great Place.
 
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