Become the Director of Public Works for a Day: Step 5

DPW for a Day

By Walter Christian Mattil, USAG Ansbach Director of Public Works

ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 23, 2015) — You’ve read and reflected on Steps one through four. Now, it’s time to get down to business and start working on your submission.

Instructions follow:

Between Monday, Jan. 11, and Friday, Jan. 15, the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach Directorate of Public Works will accept applications. We will stop taking applications at 3 p.m., Jan. 15. You may turn in your application in person to Waltraut Steinbauer, Bldg. 5843, A Wing, Bismarck Kaserne, Office Number 1002. (Her office is right above the IACS offices near the MP Station)

Your application must be in a sealed envelope with your name and email address clearly printed on the outside of the envelope. Please make sure you write legibly, so that we can read your writing.

Inside the envelope, I’ll give you a great deal of creative license, but here is what I need:

  • I need a business model, a plan or a detailed idea that the USAG Ansbach Cross Functional Team can employ or develop for execution.
  • I need you to develop a plan that can reduce our consumption of electricity … or water … or natural gas … or a plan to reduce the amount of rubbish and increase recycling. Sustainability carries a broad brush of possibilities. Perhaps it’s something I cannot even fathom: a completely new idea or concept.

THAT’S what we need. The more detailed and thorough, the better.

Here are some examples of suggestions that are too broad or Utopian:

  • “Get consumers to use less water.” Of course, but I need the “how.”
  • “Convince residents to turn down their thermostats.” Sure. How are we going to do that?
  • “Build a nuclear reactor or dam a river to create an endless supply of clean energy.” Even if we had the billions of dollars to do this, it would take 100 years to pay off our investment.

So, hopefully you get the picture. I wish you luck, and I am very, very excited to see the submissions and the intellect, passion and innovation of those who elect to compete.

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

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