Become the Director of Public Works for a Day: Step 4

DPW for a Day

ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 21, 2015) — You’ve all had the weekend to think, ponder, reflect and review. Hopefully you’ve gleaned an understanding of why sustainability is important.

But “understanding” is only the first step of the journey. I understand that air pollution kills an average of 4,000 Chinese citizens per day! That’s 1.6 million people per year, and it accounts for 17 percent of all deaths in China. That is according to a study published in 2015 by the University of California, Berkeley.

So, understanding something really doesn’t change anything unless action ensues. Only then can individuals who understand turn their concerns into a passion and a purpose. And maybe if enough people are passionate and purpose-driven, change can be realized.

The Directorate of Public Works’s Environmental Division has a program called the Sustainable Environmental Management System, or SEMS. As a part of this system, a Cross-Functional Team, or CFT, is established and meets every six to eight weeks.

The CFT consists of invitees from every organization in the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach footprint: 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, the Defense Commissary Agency, Bavaria Health Command, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and others. This is a collective think-tank that seeks to incorporate sustainability and conservation into everything we do.

Some amazing ideas and programs have been born and developed and executed as a result of the CFT’s efforts. Green procurement of items in the self-help store is just one example — replacing light bulbs and detergents and solvents and paints with items that are more ecologically friendly, expend less energy, and reduce life-cycle costs. On-demand hot-water generation systems for the dining facilities’ dishwashers is another — dramatically reducing electrical consumption. There are numerous other highly successful examples.

After all of the submissions are accepted and evaluated, we’ll determine the Top 5. These individuals will be recognized at a date to be determined in 2016. Of these Top 5, we’ll also announce the winner — who will get to become the Director of Public Works for a day.

All five of these individuals will also be invited to join the USAG Ansbach Cross-Functional Team. It only stands to reason that if these people have the passion to work on and submit a packet that falls into the Top 5, we need their intellect, passion, drive and vision infused into our team.

Step 5 is coming next, and it’s the BIG ONE. It will outline the requirements for your submission, the time-lines and suspense, and walk you through the entire process.

I will outline this Tuesday, Dec. 22, on AFN Bavaria from 8 to 9 a.m. If you miss that, I’ll post all of Step 5 requirements Wednesday, Dec. 23.

Good luck to all and stand by for Step 5!

Editor’s note: To see a roll-up of all of the “DPW for a Day” articles to date, visit

(Visited 93 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply