Ask The Commander! May Responses

| May 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Col. Matthew Margotta, Garrison CommanderThe “Ask the Commander” program is designed as a communication tool for Soldiers, civilians and family members to have their concerns addressed and questions answered by the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii commander.

All submitted questions go directly to the Col. Matthew Martotta, garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii; directorates and support staff research the queries and provide responses to the commander.

A sampling of questions are printed in the Hawaii Army Weekly and broadcast on TV2, a channel available on Army installations.

Generally, the commander answers those questions that have the greatest communitywide impact.

Q: Soldiers of all ranks are not following physical training running directives on post. What is the linkage between U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and the 25th Infantry Division to ensure Soldiers follow the PT policy?

A: In June-July 2009, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Williamson, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, met with the command sergeants major of all units who operate within the USAG-HI footprint. 

The purpose of this series of meeting was to review and revise (as required) current physical training (PT) rules, responsibilities … and specifically to identify and agree to prescribed/authorized PT running routes on our installations. 

This collaborative effort resulted in a revised USAG-HI policy memorandum (published in July 2009) regarding physical training routes and unit and individual rights and responsibilities. 

The policy memorandum encourages active participation in PT programs for Soldiers, family members, civilians and contractors. Physical fitness programs enhance quality of life, improve productivity, and support Soldier and family wellness and resiliency. 

The policy attempts to provide the proper balance between unit PT execution and the impact on the community, acknowledging that we live, work, and play in a very confined space on our Army installations in Hawaii. Toward this end, the policy outlines certain parameters that military personnel must adhere to. 

Some examples of the requirements follow:

• Commanders may hold PT formations within their unit area (e.g., quads) before 6:30 a.m.; however, based on the Commanding General, U.S. Army-Pacific directive, unit PT should not begin before 6:30 a.m. Also, movement from those areas and the calling of cadence will not begin before 6:30.

•Soldiers will observe and comply with approved running routes. There are no approved PT routes in any housing areas.

•Soldiers will not use vulgar or derogatory cadence or language at any time.

•When jogging along main thoroughfares, streets and other areas where housing is located on both sides of the street, the calling of cadence will not occur unless a written exception is granted from the commander, USAG-Oahu.

•Safety personnel/road guards will be placed at the front and rear of each formation and will wear protective orange-blazer vests or reflective belts. 

While the policy memorandum was issued by USAG-HI, it is the responsibility of every command to ensure that the policy is understood and adhered to.  

We rely upon the assistance and cooperation of everyone in the community to ensure that we continue to have a safe and quality environment in which to live, work and play.  

The entire policy memorandum (USAG-HI-1) is posted on the USAG-HI website, to include maps of approved running routes.

Q: There is a lot of foot and vehicular traffic along Menoher Street in K-Quad. Is it possible to get a crosswalk established at Building 892 as well as additional speed limit signs? I am constantly flagging drivers to slow them down.

A: Based on this question, the Directorate of Public Works and the USAG-HI Safety Office conducted an assessment of the traffic area near Building 892, Menoher Street, on Schofield Barracks. 

They found that there are designated crosswalks at two nearby intersections, Capron and Reilly streets, less than 200 feet from the affected area. The area in question is an entrance to a parking lot for a company operations facility. 

Based on these findings and based on the Installation Design Guide for USAG-HI, which states that crosswalks are installed at major vehicular intersections, we believe a crosswalk is not necessary at Building 892. However, additional speed limit signs will be posted.

While we weren’t completely able to fulfill what this community member suggested, we do make every effort to review recommendations. It is important for the community to continue bringing these types of issues and concerns to our attention

While sending an e-mail to “Ask the Garrison Commander” is one way of raising concerns, you can also submit issues through the garrison website for review by the Installation Action Council, by going to

Lastly, any issues regarding speeding or other traffic violations should be reported to the Directorate of Emergency Services.

Bus Shuttle service returns this summer to Oahu North

To provide increased access to our facilities for youth and Soldiers who may not have transportation from our outlining communities or within our installations, we are initiating the Summer Bus Shuttle Service in Oahu North. 

This service is based on feedback received during the 2009 Army Family Action Plan conference. We provided the same service last summer with only marginal participation, but attribute that to marketing shortfalls.

Starting June 7, a shuttle will run daily — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — between Helemano Military Reservation, Mendonca Park, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler and Camp Stover. 

The bus will make stops at most of our major recreation areas, such as Skateboard Park, the Soldier Support Center, the Teen Center, Richardson Pool, the Paintball Park, the Post Exchange, Burger King, the bowling alley, etc.

This initiative is designed to provide greater opportunities for our youth; however, Soldiers and family members should understand that this service is a privilege, and proper behavior and supervision are required. 

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult (defined as over 18 years of age). Even if a youth is old enough to get on the bus unaccompanied, he or she may not be old enough to access some of the facilities unaccompanied. 

For example, you must be 16 years old to enter a gym unaccompanied and 13 years old to access the pool unaccompanied. All rules established by our facilities remain in effect. 

Lastly, we anticipate that youth in our community will use this shuttle service the most. In the interest of safety and security, it is imperative that parents and guardians approve of or know that their children will be riding the shuttle. Look for a complete published schedule in the coming weeks. 


Points of Contact


  • Call 655-8978 to reach the Oahu North Community Director. 

  • Call 438-0921 to reach the Oahu South Community Director. 


More Information

To submit an “Ask the Commander” question, send an e-mail to For more information, call Ophelia Isreal (655-9033) at Customer Management Services, or call Aiko Brum (656-3155) or Jack Wiers (656-3489) at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs.


Category: News, Standing Columns

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