Effective communications critical to smooth Transformation and Relocation efforts
– Colonel J. Scott Peterson – Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan
USAG YONGSAN – After taking command of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan and Area II this past summer, I pledged to uphold the mission of supporting the readiness of our warfighters, ensure the continued safety and welfare of our community, and to further prepare ourselves for the many organizational and service-based changes that are a critical part of our Transformation.
To best accomplish this, we’ve worked hand in hand with our higher headquarters, our tenant units, the broader Yongsan community and our Korean partners in all areas. We are refining our plans and processes to minimize disruptions, take care of our workforce and families in every way, and ensure a smooth transition as units and functions transform and relocate over these next few years. Central to this entire effort is effective communication. Using a variety of tools, we are working extremely hard at maintainning effective communication between the Garrison, the communities we serve, our Good Neighbors and our employees. By doing so, we have been successful in keeping everyone informed and connected, and to that end cultivating relationships built on trust and operating with complete transparency. Here’s a few things that we are doing.
Every other week we publish “Hot Topics” which is widely distributed throughout the Command and tenant organizations. It is a quick reference tool comprised of relevant command information topics, to include changes or improvements to base support and services, and is intended to keep our workforce, leaders and community informed.
Two-way communications is of the utmost importance to the life, safety and health of our community and is vital to the readiness of our Soldiers and the success of our garrison programs. We’ve seen great success in getting our messages out by leveraging social media platforms such as Twitter – @usagyongsan and our U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Facebook page. Often times it is leaders and customers like you that are retweeting important information or events that helps spread the word. Another recent and popular tool is our new USAG-Y application (APP), which can be found on the APP Store by searching for “USAG Yongsan.” The USAG-Y APP has received raving reviews — it is easy to use and has a wide range of information and timely updates from bus schedules, phone directory and facility hours of operation to road closures, inclement weather and power outages.
We also rely on feedback from our customers to help us gage what’s going well and what areas we can improve on. You can join our communication efforts and help us as good stewards of our resources by utilizing the forums available – like Facebook or ICE – and sharing your thoughts and recommendations on how we can better meet the needs of our community. Every Monday the USAG Yongsan Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph James takes questions via Facebook and our staff works diligently to ensure your questions are answered and the information you need is widely disseminated. We take every ICE comment seriously and we do our very best to answer each of them timely and also analyze any trends during our weekly Command and Staff meetings. I encourage each of you to take part in the two-way dialogue regarding the quality of our services, USAG Yongsan’s future and our transformation efforts, and I welcome your feedback on how we can sustain or improve our programs and services.
Last week, USAG Yongsan recently hosted our quarterly “All-Hands” employee forum for the entire garrison workforce. This was another key opportunity to recognize our staff for their outstanding work, openly address issues and concerns associated with Transformation and field any questions. It is only right that we, as a command – and as leaders – continue to convene town halls and speak transparently with our community and employees and include them in being a part of the vast organizational changes that are underway — always taking care of our Soldiers, Families and our employees.
USAG Yongsan strives to be as security- and safety- focused as it is customer- focused. Halloween has traditionally been a big event for Yongsan, and we continue to put out safety messages to ensure your children are able to trick- or-treat in a safe and secure environment. Immediately following is Courageous Channel, Nov. 1-4, and our important Non-combatants Evacuation Operation, in which the entire community will be involved in mandatory assembly and evacuation drills, inspections of NEO packets and equipment and enhanced security checks at garrison and facility points of entry. Road blocks, augmented security protocols and heightened force protection conditions require tremendous coordination by garrison staff and continuous co m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h the community. Thanks to everyone’s patience and cooperation, these exercises have historically been resounding successes, reinforcing once again the high level of professionalism and cooperation shown by our workforce. You’re urged to be vigilant, patient and mindful of the challenging times ahead and stay connected using our USAG-Y APP and other social media tools.
Korea’s distinctive four seasons are just one of the many things that make this country a great place to live and work. With fall upon us and the leaves changing color, cooler inclement weather is approaching with Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and the holiday season just around the corner. It is a reminder to be safe in all we do as we take advantage of this time to enjoy our families, friends and get out into our community to enjoy all that the “Land of the Morning Calm” has to offer.
Whether you are a Service Member, Family Member, Retiree, Civilian or Veteran – thank you for your service and for all that you do to make USAG Yongsan and Area II a great place to live, work and your assignment of choice. Yongsan Ready, Yongsan Strong!