Barracks managers receive improved managing training

16 May 2013 | Cpl. Charlie Clark

Military Housing and Lodging Institute is a federal organization with an emphasis on the management and operation of all Department of Defense housing. The institutes’ employees conducted training recently for more than 30 military and civilian unaccompanied housing managers aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune as part of a new quarterly training initiative.

The Marines who attended the training ranged from lance corporals to gunnery sergeants.

With substantial improvement in the infrastructure of the Marine Corps, ensuring the barracks are properly maintained and cared for is paramount to maximize the life cycle of the buildings and furnishings.

During the two-day course, the unaccompanied housing managers learned a variety of skills, including basic elements of housing management. They also learned about required policies, directives and instructions governing barracks management.

“The biggest challenge is the frequent turnover of barracks managers,” said Bill Gallagher, a Base Bachelor Housing Division specialist.

“Managers are typically Marines awaiting separation, who fill the billet for six months or less. Much of the time, they are replaced with little to no turnover.”

Having barracks managers assigned for longer periods of time and who are thoroughly knowledgeable in their duties will help prevent maintenance issues and improve occupants’ morale, added Gallagher. This results in an improved quality-of-life for the residents and cost control for the Marine Corps.

“The class covered a lot of things I think barracks managers don’t know,” said Cpl. William J. Watson, 8th Marine Regiment barracks manager. “It was my first week on the job when I attended the class, and I know my job really well now because (I went) to it.”

In addition to providing barracks managers with basic training in unaccompanied housing, other advanced courses are scheduled to broaden their skill set and provide training opportunities for the staff non-commissioned officers and officers who have oversight of the unit barracks.

“Knowing the rules of what you can and cannot do in the barracks greatly improved the quality-of-life for our Marines,” Watson said. “I think it’s a bonus to save the Marine Corps money by learning the information from the class.”