Three Soldiers saw firsthand how future service members at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys will live during a barracks tour, Oct. 10, with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program.
Col. Heather Levy, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District, hosted the three Soldiers at an under-construction barracks complex that will eventually be home to more than 900 service members.
“We were super excited when we got this opportunity because one of our biggest things that we deal with in BOSS is quality of life,” said Spc. George Walters, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG Humphreys, who is from Cooperstown, Pennsylvania. “We get to have input and impact on the Soldier’s life and give the Soldier-perspective to those who don’t live in the barracks.”
The full tour included a chance to speak with engineers as they walked through what will be future barracks rooms – currently just bare concrete walls and exposed pipes.
“I really liked being able to see behind the scenes of our housing and being able to ask all these questions about our housing and how it affects our lives,” said Spc. Jaleesa Lopez, HHC, USAG Humphreys, who is from North Carolina.
Jamie Hagio, USACE’s construction division chief, says he appreciates input from service members on projects like this.
“Stakeholders, and especially those who will end up using the facility, can give us keen insight into how it will be used,” said Hagio. “This can improve our designs based on changes in the operational environment.”
Some of the input from previous service members at USAG Humphreys – that was incorporated into this construction project – was a kitchenette available in each living space and improved laundry facilities.
“I like how we’re improving the quality of life for our Soldiers by listening to their concerns, such as the lack of dryers in the laundry rooms in older barracks,” said Pfc. Alex Torres, 17th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, who is from Lathrop, California.
Torres also added that having better living quarters will improve Soldier morale and “help them have a happier time in Korea.”
“Providing opportunities like these for Soldiers to visit our projects is one of the fundamental things we do to showcase the future,” said Levy. “Hearing feedback in real-time also helps us know how we can change future construction to better support their needs as the Army changes.”
The barracks complex when finished will be three, eight-story buildings capable of housing up to 302 service members each. Every living unit will contain two bedrooms and a shared living space with a kitchenette and bathroom. The exterior will have four gazebos, a barbecue shelter, and landscaping will include grass and trees. Project completion is anticipated in spring 2025.
The BOSS program represents the voice of single servicemembers and is based on three pillars – quality of life, community service, and recreation and leisure. Volunteers with BOSS coordinate and participate in community services projects, organize recreation and leisure activities, and actively support the quality-of-life needs of single Soldiers.
U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys is the “Army’s Home in Korea” and is located along the western coast of South Korea within the seaport city of Pyeongtaek, approximately 40 miles south of Seoul. Camp Humphreys is the headquarters for the Eighth U.S. Army, the Second Infantry Division, the Army's most active airfield in the Pacific, and the hub of U.S. Forces Korea.