VILSECK, Germany –
Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., without a father figure was hard. He didn’t have a male role model to emulate, but he did have some close friends who were talking about the Army.
“I was looking for direction, and I had some friends who were enlisting. This got me interested,” said James Garcia. “I wanted to gain experience, and I wanted the educational benefits the Army was offering so I went to see a recruiter.”
Thirty-four years later, the Central Issue Facility accountable officer at Logistics Readiness Center Bavaria said he’s got no regrets.
“It was a game changer – a life changer,” said Garcia who was an active duty Soldier and retired at the rank of sergeant first class. “It’s been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and I have no regrets.”
With 11 years as an Army civilian employee on top of 23 years active duty, Garcia has been working at the Vilseck CIF for more than four years as the accountable officer and property book officer. Also responsible for the CIF annex at Hohenfels Training Area, Garcia served at Fort Bragg, N.C., for a couple of years as the installation Supply Support Activity accountable officer before coming to LRC Bavaria, 405th Army Field Support Brigade.
But this isn’t his first time in Bavaria nor his first position with LRC Bavaria. Before Fort Bragg, Garcia worked at LRC Bavaria’s Logistics Automation Support Center, or LASC, as a logistics information systems and office automation support specialist for four years. And before retiring from active duty, Garcia worked at the 7th Army Training Command in Vilseck.
“I was a logistics instructor at the Combined Arms Training Center, part of 7th ATC, from 2006 until 2011 when I retired,” said Garcia. “I retired on July 31, and I started working for LASC August 14 so I had a no break.”
And it’s not slowed down since for the 55-year-old LRC Bavaria employee. He has more responsibility now in his current job position than any job he’s held his entire life.
“I’m responsible for organizational clothing and individual equipment support to over 10,000 Soldiers in the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria footprint,” Garcia said. “We have about 90 units we provide support to in the Grafenwoehr and Vilseck communities as well as Garmisch. And we have 27 more units we support in Hohenfels Training Area.”
“We’re the largest CIF in (U.S. Army Europe and Africa), and we have the most Soldiers and the highest throughput,” he said. “We’re here for the Soldiers. We have to make sure we’re setting them up for success.”
Without logistics, readiness is severely impacted, said Garcia, who’s pleased to have worked in Army logistics for over 30 years.
“I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the esprit de corps, and I’ve met and developed relationships and friendships with people from all over the U.S. and all over the world,” said Garcia. “It made me the person I am today.”
LRC Bavaria is one of seven LRCs under the command and control of the 405th AFSB. LRCs execute installation logistics support and services to include supply, maintenance, transportation and food service management as well as clothing issue facility operations, hazardous material management, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, property book operations, and non-tactical vehicle and garrison equipment management. When it comes to providing day-to-day installation services, LRC Bavaria directs, manages and coordinates a variety of operations and activities in support of USAG Bavaria.
LRC Bavaria reports to the 405th AFSB, which is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.