Ask the GC! April 1, 2011

| April 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Col. Douglas Mulbury
Commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii



The “Ask the Garrison Commander” program is designed as a communication tool to allow Soldiers, civilians and family members to get their concerns addressed and questions answered.

All submitted questions come directly to me. Directorates and support staff research queries and provide responses.

Several community members submitted questions to me via the live TV2 town hall, at the Ask the Garrison Commander e-mail address, and through the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii web link at

These communication tools are provided to allow Soldiers, family members and civilians who live and work on the installation to get their concerns addressed and answered.

Q: Why are groceries purchased at the commissary by Army Family Child Care providers, for use by military dependent children they are caring for, considered unauthorized purchases? 

(In contrast,) the Family Child Care office is allowed to make such purchases with a government credit card. … We providers cannot unless we also have a government credit card, and that is not going to happen. The only alternative we providers have now is to pretend we are buying the groceries for our own families. 

Can the regulation be amended to allow us to openly purchase groceries for our day care operations and our families at the same time with (split-purchases)?

A: Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. As a tenant activity, the Commissary is not part of my command, and, as a result, I referred your inquiry to the Defense Commissary Agency for review and comment. Its response follows.

Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 1330.17 contains a list of individuals, organizations and activities entitled to unlimited commissary privileges, including “official organizations and other resale activities of the U.S. armed forces … that are operated for uniformed personnel on active duty. Sales to organizations and resale activities of the U.S. armed forces … will be paid by government credit card.”

The Army Family Child Care facility is an official organization entitled to unlimited commissary privileges; however, any purchases for Army Child Care facilities must be made using their government credit card.

DoDI 1330.17 requires that individuals seeking to make a purchase from a commissary shall be positively identified as an authorized patron. As you will be making part of these purchases on behalf of the child care facility, your official individual identification card does not provide the necessary authorization to do so, without using a government credit card issued in the name of that organization to pay for these purchases.

The regulatory provision cited above requires purchases for official organizations or resale activities to be paid for with the organization’s government credit card. This method is the only authorized one to ensure that the benefit is protected and to prevent individuals who claim they are making purchases on behalf of an authorized organization are in fact doing so, thus preventing the misuse of the benefit.

I hope this information is helpful, but should you have any further questions or require additional information, please contact the Schofield Barracks Commissary store director at 655-5066.

Q: What happened to the tennis court backboard at Fort Shafter, and will it be replaced? My son and I are avid tennis players and we use this court a lot.

A: Our Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is actively working to replace this backboard. After considering various options, FMWR decided to purchase a replacement backboard and anticipates having it delivered and installed sometime soon.

Once the purchase request has been processed through the non-appropriated fund contracting system and the contract has been awarded, we will have a more accurate timeline for completion of this work.

Q: Are there any plans to provide 24-hour security to those of us who live on Aliamanu Military Reservation? Is there any reason why Soldiers cannot be used to augment our Military Police and civilian security guards?

A: Since Oct. 1, we have provided guards at AMR gate for approximately 18 hours a day. Unfortunately, current Installation Management Command Headquarters manning guidance and funding does not allow us to provide round-the-clock coverage. The garrison is currently conducting a traffic survey of all gates throughout the installation to try and justify the additional manpower required to provide coverage 24 hours a day, but this traffic survey will take a few months to complete.

We also provide full-time police coverage inside AMR with our MPs and Department of Army Police, but we are not able to augment them with Soldiers in light of current threat conditions and the fact they are already fully engaged supporting the Army’s operational tempo.

Q: I took the state motorcycle safety course at Leeward Community College in 2006, as my insurance company provides a 15-percent discount for taking the course. I work at Tripler Army Medical Center for the Department of Veterans Affairs and would like to know why the military doesn’t accept the state motorcycle safety course. 

Also, why must I take the military course before I can be issued a post decal, and why isn’t the course offered on the weekends?  

A: We do accept Leeward Community College’s class as it fulfills our Basic Rider Course requirements. Soldiers and DA civilians assigned to U.S. Army-Hawaii facilities are also required to complete a local evaluation of their motorcycle riding skills and abilities using the bike they currently ride.

However, as a VA employee, this requirement does not apply to you. It may be that the TAMC Vehicle Pass Office is interpreting our guidance as being applicable to you, but, as an employee of a tenant activity assigned to another agency, this is incorrect.

I recommend you return to the Vehicle Registration Office with your certificate of course completion to register your bike and obtain your decals.

The safety course is not offered on weekends since it is required by DODI 6055.4 and AR 385-10, and, as such, Soldiers and civilian employees should not have to take the training on their personal time. If you experience any difficulty in registering your bike, please ask the staff at the registration office to call the Directorate of Installation Safety at 655-6746.

To submit an “Ask the Commander” question, send an e-mail to For more information, call Bill Lenharr (656-0611) at USAG-HI Command Group, or call Aiko Brum (656-3155) at USAG-HI Public Affairs.

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Category: News, Safety, Standing Columns

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