|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
signing of the Family and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Employee
and Customer Covenant at Fort McCoy May 25 marked a commitment to
increase employee morale and customer satisfaction.
Army Senior Executive Leadership approved the comprehensive, holistic
Customer Service Program for the Army Family and MWR to create and
sustain a customer-service culture.
Todd Seitz (left), the director
of Fort McCoy Family and MWR, Col. David E. Chesser, Fort McCoy
garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette
Jr., garrison command sergeant major, sign the Family and MWR
Employee and Customer Covenant. Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig
of the Fort McCoy U.S. Army Garrison, who supported the reading
of the Employee and Customer Covenant, is at the podium.
Photo by Jobi Spolum
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser, Garrison Command
Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., and Todd
Seitz, the director of Fort McCoy Family and MWR, signed the covenant.
Seitz gave an overview of the multi-faceted program to MWR employees.
Within the first 30 days, team-member orientation will be held. People
will get to know who and what MWR is, and what Fort McCoy is so all
employees understand the mission of Fort McCoy, and understand the
mission of what MWR does to support Fort McCoy, Seitz said.
Performance standards will be defined to ensure employees know what
needs to be done to ensure quality performance. Seitz said training
gives employees support tools, including education and information
available, so they can know the MWR programs and can meet the
The program will ensure recognition is given to employees who perform
the work accordingly.
Career development will be emphasized to give employees career tracks,
education and support to become program managers, division chiefs or
whatever level they hope to obtain, he said.
Taking care of our customers begins
with taking care of you, our employees.
We are committed to providing a strong, supportive environment
where you can thrive.
To that end, we promise to position you for success with:
• A robust orientation to welcome you to the Family and MWR team
• Clear performance standards for service excellence
• Formal and informal training to develop your skills
• Performance support tools to assist you on the job
• A holistic program of recognition and incentives to reward
• Career-development opportunities to reach your full potential
“This is a great step toward professionalizing MWR,” Seitz said. “It
standardizes it, it educates it, and gives incentives for the employees,
and the employee knows what to do to provide the best customer service.”
Chesser said the driving force behind the covenant is the Installation
Management Command (IMCOM) was replicating what the Army did with the
Army Family Covenant.
“It is the Army’s promise to our Soldiers and their Families to provide
a higher quality of life commensurate with their able service to our
nation,” he said.
In the past, the Army’s mantra was if it wanted Soldiers to have a
Family they would have issued them one, Chesser said. The Army realized
that had to change. Families, including children, contribute to the
quality of life of that Soldier and contribute to a Soldier’s decision
to stay in the Army.
If Families are not taken care of, the Army will not have an
all-volunteer force in sufficient numbers to honor the contract to fight
and win the nation’s wars, Chesser said.
IMCOM decided to begin the Employee and Customer Covenant because it
believed it could achieve success similar to that achieved with the Army
“This is the Army, IMCOM, and the Garrison’s commitment to provide to
you — the employees, the nonuniformed employees — a higher quality of
life,” he said.
It’s a theme he has stressed early and often, Chesser said.
During his change-of-command ceremony in April 2008, it was one of the
three things he said would be a focal point of his time in command.
Chesser said he wanted to achieve a higher quality of life for the
installation and didn’t specify or limit it to the military, those
stationed here, the transient population or the employees.
“I meant for all,” he said. “I meant while you’re at work, while you’re
at home, the transient training audience and Soldiers and servicemembers
who come through here,” he said. “I am deadly serious about that.”
We are committed to providing
quality through service excellence to our Soldiers and Families
commensurate with the quality of their service to our nation.
We understand that we create value for our customers through
predictable, consistent, efficient and customer-focused service.
To that end, we promise our customers they will:
• Always be respected and treated as individuals who are valued
• Receive a prompt and friendly greeting in a professional and
• Experience aesthetically-pleasing facilities
• Receive timely, accurate and helpful information
• Be offered high-quality products and services
• Have an opportunity to provide feedback
Chesser said if employees enjoy where they are working they will be a
more contented employee. The customer-satisfaction levels they achieve
will be higher.
Anita Saab will help Fort McCoy accomplish those goals. Saab, who works
out of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., is one of 30 customer service
coordinators strategically placed throughout the Army who will help
Family and MWR directors implement, monitor and sustain the standardized
enterprise Family and MWR Service Program.
To illustrate and emphasize how good customer service is important in
accomplishing the mission, Chesser used a story about the 2nd Battalion,
18th Field Artillery Regiment, an active-component unit from Fort Sill,
Fort McCoy’s primary mission is to train Soldiers from the
reserve-component, he said. But a transportation unit attached to the
2nd, 18th convoyed all the way from Fort Sill to Fort McCoy to train
here. The other elements flew and railroaded their equipment to Fort
“Upon his arrival, I met with the battalion commander and asked him why
he came all the way from Fort Sill to train at Fort McCoy,” Chesser
The commander told Chesser, “‘I was here several years ago as the
battalion’s executive officer. I was so thrilled with the quality of
training here, the customer satisfaction, and the way you take care of
units, I said I’m going back up there if I ever become battalion
That spoke highly of Fort McCoy. Chesser said the installation uses the
Interactive Customer Evaluation Survey system, customer comment cards at
dining facilities, exit surveys, etc., to track this data.
Fort McCoy is achieving a high level of customer satisfaction because
its relevancy is tied to that, he said.
“If units do not want to come here — and they have a choice — if they
don’t choose to come to Fort McCoy year-after-year, we will not continue
to exist as an installation,” he said.
In closing, Chesser thanked the MWR employees for what they do.
He said during the Newcomers Orientation briefings, he tells new
employees they are the front line of support to the customers, whether
it’s the Soldiers who are here for three weeks before deploying to
Afghanistan or Iraq, the retirees coming through the area and seeking
lodging support, etc.
“You make a profound difference in their lives,” he said. “I can talk
about the value of customer focus all I want, but if I haven’t convinced
you of the importance, if you don’t understand it, and if you’re not
working toward customer satisfaction and excellence, we’ll never get
Fort McCoy is extremely well received in the eyes of IMCOM, First Army,
and the U.S. Army Reserve Command because of what the work force does on
a daily basis, he said. “Units are requesting to come to Fort McCoy by
name,” even when they may have choices nearer their home, because the
quality of life is better at Fort McCoy than their other choices,” he