Military Demands Servicemen Repair Their Barracks

Marines at Camp Pendleton in California have been tasked with making minor repairs to their dormitories, according to Task and Purpose. The military is struggling to find workable solutions for the pervasive problem of dilapidated living facilities.

Recently, a video was published online that explains how Camp Pendleton Marines may ask barracks or facility administrators for permission to fix little problems in their quarters. This covers tasks like mold removal, painting, and hole repairs.

Task & Purpose reports that representatives from the Marine Corps have said that the initiative would provide service members more freedom to make little improvements while the military assesses the results of a thorough examination of the conditions in the barracks.

In the video, it is shown how self-help requests assist Marines in becoming more proficient at small-scale house repairs and effectively handling minor issues in their quarters.

A base spokesperson, 1st Lt. Taylor M. Dorsey, said the program is free for renters living in the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ). Marines may learn to do various chores in the curriculum, such as changing smoke detector batteries, handling door-locking systems, and replacing light bulbs. BEQ staff members provide instructions to assist them in doing these activities.

Dorsey, however, denied any assertions that the initiative was created to address the backlog in repair requests caused by civilian contractors.

According to a Government Accountability Office assessment from September, some junior military personnel live in small barracks with serious maintenance problems. There is a severe concern since these issues do not adhere to the Department of Defense’s privacy and health regulations.

Marine Corps Times reported in January that images had surfaced online showing the appalling state of the laundry and bathing facilities at the Marine Corps infantry school at Camp Pendleton. The pictures included shots of dead rats, possible mildew, crumbling drywall, and a locker with a swastika on it. A Marine said that half of the sixteen washing machines were not operating correctly.

A spokesman for Marine Corps Installations Command, Maj. John Parry said the self-help program encourages Marines to take charge of their repairs if they feel that doing so will save money over waiting for help. He said that to get the time off required for repairs, Marines must contact their chain of command.

He said the program at Camp Pendleton is more extensive than other facilities.

The Marine Corps ordered installation commanders to inspect every barracks facility thoroughly in February. Congress and the public’s rising worries over the state of living quarters on military bases prompted this measure. The study concluded in March.

The investigation’s findings were still unknown as of Monday. Parry, however, told Marine Corps Times that the preliminary results were consistent with the sample of barracks included in the GAO study.