Identity: Community leaders celebrate customer service, role models during workforce meeting

Story and photos by Karl Weisel
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs

U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s workforce celebrated a yearlong effort to enhance overall customer satisfaction, recognize role models and unveil further efforts to create a sense of identity in the Wiesbaden military community.

“When I first spoke here a year ago I talked about creating a home here — not just for Headquarters U.S. Army Europe, but for our 20,000 Soldiers, civilians and family members here in Wiesbaden,” said Col. David Carstens, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander, to the hundreds of Soldiers and civilians gathered in the Wiesbaden Fitness Center Jan 25.

“And so, many people sitting in this audience have been spending a lot of time in the last several months trying to figure out what exactly does a home mean. And I think we’ve figured it out,” he said.

Teams of garrison employees have been working for the past year researching different ways people communicate and obtain information, find out about the many opportunities both inside and outside the U.S. military community and obtain the support and services they relate to a sense of home wherever they reside.

“We already have a wonderful customer service culture,” said the commander, pointing to among the highest satisfaction percentages and response rates Army-wide in the Interactive Customer Evaluation system and other feedback mechanisms such as the “Ask the commander” segments on the American Forces Network-Wiesbaden’s radio, the Herald Union, commander’s hotline and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The goal is to inspire the entire workforce to continue a culture of outstanding service, he said.

“This is the end of a really long road of establishing what the vision is here in Wiesbaden — the end state being ‘Wiesbaden: Your home in Germany,’” Carstens said. “Wiesbaden is about more than just serving.” It’s about learning, sustaining, educating, exploring, transforming — all of the different things that contribute to a sense of home.

“It’s not about creating anything new,” he added, pointing to recognition of the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden as the Army Community of Excellence in 2011 and being recognized again in 2012 for having sustained that level of excellence, but more about identifying how each individual and the community as a whole contributes to a positive sense of home for those first arriving in Wiesbaden.

During the Friday afternoon workforce gathering, community leaders recognized a handful of community employees for their “inspired leadership.” These included Uta Russ, Master Sgt. Richard Jones and Quinton Harvey from the Directorate of Human Resources; Kevin Whitfield, Jose Faulk, Corinna Faulk and Kevin Iszard from the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Dirk Ulbrich from the Transformation Management and Stationing Office; Maria Myers from the Directorate of Resource Management, Sgt. 1st Class Faustin Desir of the Religious Support Office; Chrystal Smith of the Public Affairs Office and Patrice Reinhard of the Directorate of Public Works. The assembled group also acknowledged the efforts of area logisticians, led by Heinz Kaffenberger, as the Directorate of Logistics has transitioned from being a vital component of USAG Wiesbaden to being a supporting agency as part of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade.

Among the highlights of the event was the rollout of an original video (watch it on the garrison’s YouTube page at, logo and posters capturing the different aspects of life in the Wiesbaden military community, a unified name tag for all garrison employees and a live video feed with leaders of the Installation Management Command, based in San Antonio, Texas.

“I just want to thank you employees of the IMCOM workforce for everything you do every day,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, IMCOM commander. “You make it Army Strong and you make me proud. … Thanks for your innovation and your energy every day.”