Fort Riley, Kansas



Cots to pots at Relocation Readiness office

By Hannah Kleopfer | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | January 29, 2016

    For Soldiers and their family members, relocating to a new post can be stressful. According to Bryan Bartlett, manager of the Fort Riley Relocation Readiness Program, the stress of transitioning is one of the top five contributing factors for domestic violence, domestic assault and suicide. But with the care Bartlett puts into his service for transitioning Soldiers and their families, he said he hopes to pre­vent things like that from happening in the ‘Big Red One’ and Fort Riley community.

     When Bartlett came into his posi­tion, he said he had a lot of connec­tions from previously serving as the sergeant major of the Directorate of Emergency Services and the acting Fort Riley Garrison command ser­geant major.

     One of the things Bartlett imple­mented for Soldiers coming to Fort Riley is the International Hotel Group Social Wednesday nights. At the socials, incoming Soldiers and family members get to know the faces of people from the programs available to them here such as the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, USO Fort Riley, Defense Commissary Agency, Corvias Military Living and Child, Youth and School Services.

     Another effort put forth by Bartlett is to obtain loaner furniture for them as they wait for their furniture to ar­rive or until they can buy some.

     Bartlett said his goal – and the pro­gram motto – is that no one should have to sleep on the floor.

     Bartlett has found everything from cots to pots. Anytime a need for something is brought up, he puts in an effort to obtain it such as rocking chairs for breastfeeding mothers and sippy cups for toddlers. He finds if one person needs it, there are probably a number of other people who need it as well. Many items for this proj­ect are new, high quality items that will last or are from Sol­diers who are leaving and have no need for it anymore.

     Another of Bartlett’s ongo­ing efforts is a weekly perma­nent change of station briefing for those who are moving to a new post. Bartlett said he mod­ified the briefing to fit everyone regardless of where they are be­ing stationed.

    “Its two and a half hours now, and we have the single Soldiers meeting on Tuesdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and married Soldiers are in the af­ternoon,” Bartlett said. “Every person counts.”

     Bartlett has more plans for Relocation Program offerings such as posting weekly Facebook webcasts featuring topics Sol­diers and their family members are asking about. The idea came from the virtual welcome he helped put together for Soldiers coming to Fort Riley when the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Bri­gade Combat Team at Fort Ben­ning, Georgia, were realigned. “This is what it’s all about,” Bartlett said, pointing to cards taped to the wall of his office. The cards were from mothers of Soldiers, thanking him for tak­ing care of their child.


Tag relocation