2019-02-08 / Viewpoint

SEC ARMY ANSWERS QUESTIONS

Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper has a new webpage dedicated to answering questions about issues and concerns raised across the Army. It will also be used to communicate policy changes in addition to answering frequently asked questions. You can visit www.army.mil/leaders/sa/ questions/. Below are some of the most recent questions and answers highlighted on the webpage:

Housing

Moving

Q: The size and types of homes available vary according to each installation. Some installations have five or more bedroom homes, while others have at most four-bedroom homes. How is the size of each home determined, and is there a requirement for a set number of each size home on every installation?

A: Department of Defense Instruction 4165.63 (DoD Housing) and Army Regulation 420-1 (Army Facilities Management) establish the policy by which the Army determines family housing requirements. Department of Defense Manual 4165.63 (DoD Housing Management) further describes a Housing Market Analysis (HMA) that is employed by the Army to determine the number and size of family housing units, broken out by pay grade and bedroom requirements, for both government-provided or privatized family housing.

The HMA assumes one bedroom (BR) per family member, with a minimum of two BR and a maximum of four BR based on the number of family members and grade of the Servicemember. Garrison commanders establish bedroom eligibility based upon local requirements and assets availability. The Army’s recommended bedroom guidelines are as follows: 1) Four BR minimum for grades O-6 and General Officers; 2) three BR minimum for grades E-7 – E-9, WO-4-WO-5, and field grade officers; and 3) two BR minimum for grades E-6-WO-3 and O-1-O-3. Minimum eligibility for five BR varies according to the ages and genders of four or more dependents, excluding the sponsor’s spouse. Privatized family housing partners can build five-BR homes for larger families, with the overall financial health of the project as a key component when determining to do so.

Q: What is being done about Household Goods (HHG) Shipment and Transportation? A spouse described the Army’s pattern of HHG contract carriers as grossly negligent, and asked for a solution and accountability.

A: To improve the HHG movement experience for Soldiers and family members, the Army is focusing on short and long term changes to how the process is conducted. In the short term (by the 2019 peak move season), the Army will: Raise the minimum execution of HHG quality assurance inspection rates to from 25 percent to 50 percent in order to ensure transportation service provider compliance with packing standards; increase the use of containerized shipments to reduce loss, pilferage, and/or damage to HHGs; and, in coordination with U.S. Transportation Command, provide Soldiers and families access to an online HHG carrier list with their associated customer satisfaction scores and a 24/7 hotline to address Soldier and family move concerns.

Long term (beyond the 2019 peak move season), the Army is focusing on broader structural changes to the HHGs movement process. To address quality assurance challenges, the Army is requesting funding to support the hiring of additional quality assurance inspectors. When feasible, the Army will increase the average PCS order lead time and shift PCS report dates out of the peak move season in order to allow more flexibility in transportation service provider selection.

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