Community makes change through AFAP

Volunteers presented issues raised by community members to garrison leadership at the 2018 Army Family Action Plan conference Oct. 18 and 19.
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Commander Col. Noah C. Cloud and Deputy Garrison Commander Doug Earle listened to the concerns brought forth and offered their opinions on the logistics and feasibility of each issue.

Garrison representatives signed a “Pledge to our Customers,” underscoring the garrison’s commitment to customer service.

Cloud reminded the volunteers at the start of the conference that what they do is meaningful, even if it doesn’t create immediate local change. He said some of the topics they discussed would be addressed locally, while others would have the potential to influence Army policy and regulations worldwide.

“So as you look at these things and you articulate why you think that service is necessary,” he told them, “it becomes another piece of your voice that reaches up and touches those that make policy.”

Cloud laid out higher priorities that will influence how issues are valued. The number one priority is force protection, number two is infrastructure, three is Soldier and Family programs, and four is supporting units in the theater, he said.

Volunteers chose a handful of submitted issues to present to leadership, including having a centralized online resource for on-boarding newcomers, host nation patient liaisons, a single online tracking system for civilian and Soldier required training, an Aukamm dog park, using local Commissary vendors to reduce the chance of expired food, Living Quarters Allowance determination for locally hired military spouses in overseas locations and staff for children with special needs at the child development centers.

Although change may not happen immediately, especially for issues that affect the Army as a whole, Cloud reminded audience members that the concerns brought forth will be addressed.
“Your voice will be heard and other people’s voices will be heard, and then two years later when you’re at another installation, you’ll see the change.”