Army Community Services hosted a Newcomers Orientation on Tuesday, March 17, in the Community Activities Center at Fort Detrick. This week’s event had a new feel, a new agenda and a lot of enthusiasm as current employees welcomed new employees, Soldiers and their families.
As many as 56 active duty service members, civilians and children from Fort Detrick, Forest Glen Annex and Raven Rock attended the orientation, which was opened by Col. Perry Clark and U.S. Army Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Jessup.
Fort Detrick is a “unique installation that is unlike no other,” said Clark during his welcoming remarks. He welcomed everyone to Frederick, Maryland; mentioning how he himself grew up not too far from Frederick in western Maryland, where his parents still live to this day.
“My parents are in western Maryland and I can tell you it gets cold here. For those of you coming from warm climates, get ready. But, I really think we have seen the last snow and this really is a great place,” said Clark.
One attendee commented how nice it was to see command staff present at something like this and how he has never been to a place where the command sergeant major has been so animated and welcoming.
This year, a new component was added to the orientation; a narrated bus tour of the installation and around Frederick. Highlights included Whittier Elementary, the feeder elementary school for Fort Detrick children, Baker Park, Market Street, Francis Scott Key Mall, the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles and a stop at the Frederick County visitor’s center.
Staff at the visitors center greeted two bus-loads of people with goodie bags packed with information and brochures on what Frederick County has to offer visitors and its citizens. This stop also included Frederick’s state of the art theater, featuring its award-winning multi-screen orientation film, “A Turn of the Wheel.”
According to Liz Dague, relocation program manager in Army Community Services, attendee feedback on this new addition to the orientation was positive.
“The majority enjoyed the tour and could relax and focus on the points of interest without worrying about getting lost,” said Dague. “They also pointed out that this format, where there was lots of interaction, was much more enjoyable.”
The morning ended where it all began, at the Community Activities Center. This time, experts were available to answer questions and provide information regarding programs and services available here at Fort Detrick.
The newcomer’s orientation is a monthly event and required per Army regulation for active duty. The next orientation is schedule for April 15. To register for any of the upcoming sessions, visit the Installation Extranet or call Army Community Services at (301) 619-2197.