With every day bringing integration closer, execution and dedication is important now more than ever, and the barracks at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) are updating residents and continue to make service improvements.
"To prepare for the integration, we have consolidated the rooms," said Chief Sarmaine Johnson, Command Senior Enlisted Leader for NSAB. We are also continuing to ensure basic functions of the rooms are in order. We just converted the rooms to self-maintained heating and air conditioning units, allowing the resident to control their temperature themselves. This allows us to run things smoothly and minimize any holdups or problems from occurring, said Johnson.
Johnson said her pride motivates her when dealing with day-to-day operations.
"I pride myself on the 24-hour customer service policy," she added. "I pride myself on the activities and events offered through the liberty center. I also pride myself on the cleanliness, upkeep and overall success of the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ). If there is a problem and it is not resolved in an expected amount of time, I have an open door policy. A resident can call me, come by and knock on my door and we will find out why the problem hasn't been resolved and move forward with a solution."
One of the primary missions of the barracks staff is to support the junior enlisted personnel living in the BEQ, providing leadership and supporting their endeavors.
It's very important that we give 100 percent and show the hard work and care we put forth every day. Right now, we are in the process of assigning the rooms to the staff that's coming over from Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), so that when they arrive, they can give us their name, collect their room key and go to their new room, continued Johnson.
"At the end of the day, we fulfill the needs of the residents," said Second Class Petty Officer Nicholas Roby, Solace Hall (Building 61 BEQ) assistant building manager with NSAB. "Here, the residents are welcome to the gym, pool table, free laundry room, television room and other amenities. I look at everything that's offered and I'm a little envious. The living condition of these barracks, paired with the staff's dedication and hard work, create an ever-improving environment for our service members."
When a resident moves into the barracks, their room comes equipped with a standard-size bed, two dressers, a desk, mini-fridge, microwave, flat screen television with cable and free Wi-Fi. The residents also have access to discounted rates on all Liberty Zone events, a gym, community room equipped with a pool table and lounging furniture, 24-hour laundry room access and vending machines.
BEQ staff members have noted the satisfied residents stopping by the help desk frequently with compliments.
"I love the barracks. Whenever I have a problem, whether it's with my room or with anything else in the building, I am taken care of every time with quality service and respect," said Team Lead Hospitalman Joey Gant, who works in Pediatrics. "I can sleep better at night because I know now that this is my home."
When he's at work, Gant said he can focus solely on his work because in the back of his mind, everything is okay at home.
To continue updating residents on integration, how it will impact them, and ensuring their questions are answered, the BEQ held a town hall meeting Wednesday, led by Capt. Michael Malanoski, commanding officer of NSAB.
"There will be some things offered in the wounded warrior barracks that won't be offered in the permanent party barracks," said Johnson.
For example, each suite in tranquility hall will have a washer and dryer and each room will include a computer. "The reasoning for all of this has to be understood. We don't want any building to feel slighted because of the services offered," said Johnson.
The mission of the meeting was to inform residents of provisions offered in the wounded warrior barracks and to answer questions from permanent residents.
"There needs to be some sort of unit cohesion that takes place to continue the success of the integration," said Johnson.
For more information on the barracks, contact Chief Johnson at 301-319-8897 or e-mail her at Sarmaine.johnsonmed.navy.mil.