USAG Rheinland-Pfalz named best garrison in Europe

Ariana Oregel, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Exceptional Family Member Program director (left) and Kelley Hood, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz EFMP program systems navigator, discuss EFMP programs with a military family member at a recent outreach event at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center.

United States Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz is the best garrison in Europe.

Five installations, one from each directorate of the Installation Management Command, have been named IMCOM Directorates Best Garrison 2019, with USAG Rheinland-Pfalz selected for Europe.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said USAG RP commander Col. Vance Klosinski. “In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve been very impressed with the attitude, caring and work ethic of the entire garrison team.”

The scoring was based on criteria in 13 categories for an installation’s Fiscal Year 2019: mission support, energy, quality of life, unit morale, environment, real property asset management, real property stewardship, competitive activities, communication, safety and health, security, public relations and other awards won.

According to the IMCOM announcement, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz achieved a 94% customer service rating from the community despite the high-risk staffing levels. The garrison has made improvements with its energy consumption, saving a total of $380,000 annually. USAG RP also has a large volunteer program that recorded 32,000 volunteer hours during FY19. Volunteers helped with activities like outdoor adventure programs and community-wide sports tournaments.

“I am proud of all that the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz continues to do for our Soldiers, families, civilians and Retirees, and they are truly deserving of this honor,” said Installation Management Command-Europe Director Tommy Mize. “Every day, their entire garrison team, across all directorates and staffs, delivers the best services and infrastructure our military community deserves. They are a model garrison with an excellent, dedicated staff, and I congratulate and thank the whole team.”

USAG RP has the largest Army footprint in Europe. The Kaiserslautern-headquartered garrison is responsible for 31 installations and sites that stretch nearly 100 miles across Germany, encompassing Baumholder, Miesau, Landstuhl, Sembach, Mannheim, Grunestadt and Germersheim, as well as smaller sites. The garrison also has administrative control over sites in Romania and Bulgaria.

“The directorates work closely with each other, which supports clear communication and effective problem resolution,” said Gary Burton, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director. “When you have great processes, great people and great attitudes, you have the perfect recipe to achieve great results.”

U.S. Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Baumholder Child and Youth Services employees paint the face of a young local national girl attending her first Halloween event at the 2019 Baumholder Trunk and Treat festivities.
Military members and civilians who shoplift from the Army Air Force Exchange Service are detained by AAFES loss prevention personnel and then handed over to the military police. Photo by Mary Davis
David Chinchen, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Rhine Ordnance Barracks postal service employee, checks the small packages boxes for a customer’s mail at the ROB Postal Services Center package pickup window.
A firefighter from the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz trains to put out a car fire using the garrison’s new Hose Line Training Aid System. Training chiefs can switch out different training aids to simulate fires with propane tanks, barbecue grills, gas meters and numerous other types of fires firefighters may encounter.
Sgt. Francesca Cyma, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, stands guard, backing up the contractor gate guards, at a Pulaski Barracks gate in Kaiserslautern, as part of a Troop Diversion exercise during Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Month.
From left, Baumholder Senior Housing Management Specialist Jim Gillis shows the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Jordan Gillis, a planned construction and design project to reshape Wetzel Housing. Photo by Stefan Alford


Since the nomination packet was submitted, other improvements have been made across the garrison such as; hiring additional employees to fill critical positions, purchasing new emergency equipment and apparatus for the fire department, and securing funding for sun shades and balconies in Army Family Housing in Baumholder.

“The garrison agency doesn’t matter,” said Charm Sutton, Baumholder Army Family Housing Customer Service chief. “Day in and day out, you get to witness small glimmers of greatness. Regular people who go above and beyond for other people just because it’ll make someone’s day.”

“USAG RP excels in communicating with military members and their families to ensure everyone is well-informed,” added Yancy Chandler, USAG RP Directorate of Resource Management manpower branch. “They offer virtual town hall meetings which are accessible online in real time and after the event in case we have questions.”

“The command team and directors let supervisors lead their teams. There’s no micro-management,” said Ivor Watson, Military Personnel Division chief. “I feel the garrison as a whole provides quality and timely services in spite of the challenge of doing so across the largest garrison footprint in the theater.”

Using the same criteria, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz placed third in the worldwide Army competition. The other four IMCOM garrisons recognized were USAG Fort Drum from ID-Readiness, USAG Hawaii from ID-Pacific, USAG Fort Huachuca from ID-Training and USAG Rock Island Arsenal from ID-Sustainment.

“USAG RP employees genuinely care about what they are doing and who they do it for,” said Greg Williams, Directorate of Public Works director. “To them, it’s more than a job, it’s a passion.”

In a message to the garrison workforce this week on the announcement, Dr. Kevin Griess, deputy to the garrison commander, praised the efforts that led to the recognition: “This is a direct result of your individual and combined efforts and the exceptional teamwork we have here. We should all be incredibly proud of this award because it tells the rest of the Army what we already know: from top to bottom we have the best team in Europe.”