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NEWS | Jan. 27, 2023

Secretary of the Army talks quality of life with Army Families in Hawaii

By Sgt. Rachel Christensen 28th Public Affairs Detachment

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII-- The Honorable Christine E. Wormuth, 25th  Secretary of the Army , visited Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Jan. 24, to meet with senior leaders and host a town hall to address questions and concerns from Soldiers, Families and Army Civilians.
The town hall, hosted at Sgt. Smith Theater on Schofield Barracks, was live-streamed through the 25th Infantry Division’s social media platforms. People viewing the live stream asked questions virtually, and Wormuth and 25th Infantry Division leadership answered those along with the questions from the in-person audience.
Improving quality of life was among the top areas of discussion during her visit which included the way forward for improving living environments within the barracks.
“One of the reasons I am out here is to specifically focus on looking at infrastructure here in Hawaii,” Wormuth said during her opening remarks at the town hall.
During the visit, she also toured barracks rooms on the installation, some of which require major renovation due to a variety of issues.
“The Army is spending about a billion dollars a year on new barracks and we're going to be doing at least that for the next 10 years,” said Wormuth. “That is really, really important. I am looking at that with Gen. McConville to see whether we need to increase that annual investment into barracks, and if so, how we could do that.”
Wormuth also discussed upcoming barracks inspections across all Army installations, ordered by Gen. Edward Daly, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. The order will identify unsafe living conditions in all the Army’s barracks so that leaders can prioritize resources to fix the problems.
Besides hosting the town hall, the Secretary also took time to have lunch with Soldiers across the 25th ID footprint. Wormuth asked Soldiers why they joined the Army and discussed ideas and new initiatives for the Army’s recruiting challenge.
She spoke about the Soldier Referral Program, a pilot that was “driven by Soldiers’ suggestions” which will allow Soldiers to become eligible for promotion points and advanced promotions if they refer applicants that successfully enlist. “We are excited about that program,” replied Wormuth, to a question about the pilot. “We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of excitement that generates and if it helps increase our recruitment numbers.”