FORT KNOX, Ky. –
The U.S. Army Recruiting Command hosted a forum at Fort Knox March 23 to seek resolutions for Basic Allowance for Housing problems Soldiers within the command have been facing.
“The workshop involved stakeholders across TRADOC and HQDA who listened to vignettes from Soldiers and spouses across the command who are experiencing challenges due to the volatile housing market as well as basic cost of living expenses,” Command Sgt. Maj. John Foley said.
During the forum, recruiting noncommissioned officers and their spouses shared personal testimonies and concerns about BAH and Cost of Living Allowance, particularly in duty stations located in high cost areas.
“I think that implementing COLA for recruiters could help alleviate some of the financial burden accompanied with living in the community,” said Staff Sgt. Randall Douglas, a recruiting NCO in Lacey, Washington.
USAREC is working to ensure individuals have the resources they need to be successful in the command. The biggest issue ahead, according to Col. Mark Thompson, deputy chief of staff, is getting exceptions to policy for COLA in high cost areas like Los Angeles or Miami.
“USAREC is committed to putting our people first and improving their quality of life in order to achieve the Army’s demanding recruiting mission,” Foley said.
The Government Leased Housing Program is just one of many programs available to support USAREC Soldiers and prevent excessive out-of-pocket expenses.
“We want to improve the quality of life for USAREC families who live in areas where BAH does not support local housing costs and military housing is not available,” Ed Andino, USAREC housing officer, said.
Recruiting NCO Staff Sgt. Oscar Gamboa, and his wife Claudia Gamboa shared their experiences with the housing market in Miami, Fla.
“There were no houses for the price of BAH in our area, I had to send my wife to live with family in Jacksonville for a couple of months,” Gamboa said.