Commander’s Column: Looking forward: continuing Stuttgart traditions

My family and I want to thank the entire Stuttgart community for the warm welcome we received at the change of command ceremony.  
From the moment we stepped off the plane, we have received nothing but outstanding support and understanding from everyone.

 Although I have only been here for a short period of time, I have had the opportunity to visit many of the garrison facilities and talk with their staffs.
 I have met many of our tenant unit commands and look forward to meeting them all.

We have an outstanding relationship with our host nation neighbors, and I look forward to meeting them and continuing to forge strong bonds of friendship during my tenure here.

I have found Stuttgart to be a diverse community that is not only home to many Soldiers and their families, but also home to service members from all branches of the military.

With these diverse service demographics come different viewpoints on how things should and could be done. I look forward to embracing the different ideas and finding the common ground that utilizes the strengths of all, without turning any away.     
It won’t be easy, but I have a seasoned garrison staff that has been actively pursuing this same goal.

With the aid of some feedback mechanisms, I believe we will continue to improve our quality of life here in Stuttgart.

I consider the Interactive Customer Evaluation program my weekly after-action review of whether or not we are providing the level of service expected of us.
I read every ICE submission and have seen actions initiated on many of them by the garrison staff.

I know that some people prefer to remain anonymous, but I encourage everyone who submits an ICE comment card to provide us with their contact information so we can provide them with direct feedback. I have asked to have more ICE feedback mechanisms placed throughout our operations so I can get a better feel for what works and what does not. 

As this is my first assignment in Germany, I’ve come to realize that the awareness we all must maintain here is much different than at stateside installations.
The Army’s iWatch and antiterrorism programs are ideal vehicles for promoting vigilance among community members, especially in the areas of personal security and safety. At the same time, the programs enrich community members with the knowledge of what to look for and who to call when they notice something out of the ordinary. I encourage everyone to become familiar with these programs.
Hope and I are blessed to be assigned here and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.