12 September 2017

Communication is a Team Effort and Your Help is Needed
USAG Public Affairs
Communication is defined as the act or instance of transmitting information. Over the years, several employee surveys have been conducted at Fort Detrick; with communication inevitably topping the list of each survey as a concern for the majority of the employees here. Thanks to these surveys, we are able to better understand the needs of the community. This understanding gives Fort Detrick the ability to grow, to become better and ultimately stronger in the areas identified for improvement.

A main issue identified has been that the Fort Detrick community feels they are not being made aware of events, policies or processes; unsure of where to go to find said information. However, there are many methods of communication - from phone calls and emails to meetings and newsletters – available to the Fort Detrick community to keep everyone up to date on all happenings here on post.
Below are a few communication conduits utilized at Fort Detrick that can be helpful to you:

The Installation Operations Planning Group
The OPG is a bi-monthly meeting that occurs on the installation. In this meeting, led by the U.S. Army Garrison's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, tenant organizations meet around the table to discuss upcoming events, taskers, operations orders, installation trainings, etc., to de-conflict tasks, times, dates and locations.

The OPG is also a time for units to participate in after-action reviews, making suggestions on how to improve the programs and events at Fort Detrick. The meeting occurs on the first and third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. in Building 810. If your organization is not represented at this meeting, e-mail the DPTMS operations email box at: usarmy.detrick.usag.mbx.dptms-operations@mail.mil to be included on the distribution list. Those who are in a decision-making role are best suited for this meeting.

Fort Detrick Social Media
The Fort Detrick U.S. Army Garrison has both a Facebook and Twitter page where upcoming events, weather information, articles and other information is shared. This is a good place to look for a quick snapshot of what is happening on the installation. You can find Fort Detrick on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/DetrickUSAG and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/DetrickUSAG.

The Fort Detrick Webpage
If you are not on social media, the Fort Detrick webpage is another great resource for relevant information. The webpage is updated with current events and announcements under "The Weeklies" section, and a monthly wrap-up under "The Standard" section. Weather information, base operating status and alerts are also posted on the Fort Detrick home page. The Fort Detrick extranet is a place where you can locate training documents, policies, procedures and SOPs. To access the Fort Detrick extranet, you will need a valid CAC card. Visit: www.detrick.army.mil.

Commanders Brown Bag Lunch
The U.S. Army Garrison commander hosts a Brown Bag Lunch every two months intended to be a frank and open discussion among commanders concerning USAG support to their units and Fort Detrick. All commanders, senior enlisted advisors, and agency directors/managers and their spouses are invited to attend this meeting. If you fall into this category and are not on the invitation list, contact the DPTMS at: usarmy.detrick.usag.mbx.dptms-operations@mail.mil to be added to the distribution list.

Global Address in Outlook
Another quick fix to improve communication on the installation is to update your contact information in the Global Address List in Outlook. Having complete and accurate information in the global system allows for people to connect with you. Take the time to update your contact information. It is as simple as going to Milconnect at: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/. Once you are logged into the system, under "My Profile" select "Update and View My Profile."

AtHoc Messaging system
To receive emergency alerts via text messaging, e-mail and/or phone calls, sign up for AtHoc alerts through the Fort Detrick Emergency Manager. If you are a DOD employee, you can update your information in the AtHoc system via the purple globe icon located on the bottom of your computer tool bar. Otherwise, call the Fort Detrick Emergency Manager at (301) 619-3366, or e-mail garth.c.phoebus.civ@mail.mil to be added to the system.
This method allows for emergency messages to be quickly communicated to you.

Communication can improve, but it takes everyone working together to ensure accurate, timely and concise information is passed along to the community. Information your unit may not think is relevant can be extremely important to another, which is where meetings like the OPG really make a difference. Every tenant organization is expected to send a representative to the bi-monthly OPG meetings. That individual should be familiar with operations, should be a decision maker and have the capability to sit in the Emergency Operations Center if and when the EOC is activated in an emergency or exercise situation.

Remember, your organization can be a part of the communication solution. This is a way to contribute to the success of Fort Detrick. It is a way to listen and find out what is going on, learn processes and contribute expertise and insight that help craft successful events and programs for Soldiers, their families and civilian employees.

As George Bernard Shaw said, "the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Share what you know and become part of the solution to improve communications. It's all about teamwork and we invite you to be a part of the Fort Detrick team.

Lastly, if you have a message, event, program or notice you would like to get out to the Fort Detrick community, please send that information directly to the Fort Detrick U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office by emailing: usarmy.detrick.usag.mbx.pao@mail.mil.

The Public Affairs Office sends out a weekly e-mail blast to employees that provides a recap of upcoming events, programs and announcements for the upcoming month called "The Weeklies;" sent out every Thursday. If you need to be added to "The Weeklies" distribution list, e-mail the Public Affairs Office. "The Weeklies" and "The Standard" are also posted on the installation website: www.detrick.army.mil.
Posted by Webmaster

For more Fort Detrick News, vist "The Standard"
   - the official newspaper for Fort Detrick.
For the full archive, visit http://www.dcmilitary.com/standard/

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