By General (Ret.) John Campbell
Since I joined the U.S. Army in 1979, my life has been about service; serving my soldiers, serving my community, and most importantly, serving my country. After 37 years of active duty, I knew I wanted to find ways to build on my experience to continue to support our service members.
After learning about the Military Housing Association and its mission to ensure that privatized military housing companies in the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) continue to provide high-quality homes for military families, I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization.
I grew up in a military family, living on bases across the country. My wife, Ann, and I have raised our family in military communities. As a result, I have a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, the experiences of our military families. I know first–hand how much high-quality housing and responsive property management services ease the burden placed on our servicemen and women.
Today, I am proud to announce that I have joined the Military Housing Association as a senior advisor. Making a difference in the lives of service members and their families is at the core of everything I have done and my goal is to do even more through the Military Housing Association.
Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, family housing looked very different than it does today. Families like mine often lived in accommodations built during World War II – when military leaders devoted their full attention and resources to war-fighting capabilities.
As the Cold War came to a close, the Department of Defense recognized that poor housing conditions were harming readiness, but the Services did not have adequate resources to address a staggering $20 billion maintenance backlog.
In response, Congress established the MHPI, a program designed to leverage the expertise and resources of the private sector to make drastic improvements to military homes and communities. Over the last two decades, MHPI Public Private Ventures have built and renovated more than 125,000 homes on and off bases around the country.
As military homes improved over the years, so have the communities they support. Unlike during my childhood, military families now have an opportunity to live in a community that provides access to resources and amenities such as community pools and community centers. Military housing communities understand the lifestyle and focus on bringing families and neighbors closer together.
All these improvements that have been facilitated by the MHPI have substantially increased the quality of life for our troops and their families. When our service members know their families are safe at home, they can focus their full attention on the mission at hand.
Joining the Military Housing Association empowers me to help shape the work this organization is doing to further strengthen the MHPI and to represent the voices of service members and their families.
As an advisor, I will work alongside some of the largest companies in the privatized military housing sector to identify and implement solutions and encourage best practices to enhance military housing. This includes advising them on processes and operational policies that will have a positive long-term impact on our service members and their families.
I will also use my platform to listen carefully to stakeholders, including military family advocates, to make sure residents are heard by the Military Housing Association.
Our work to strengthen the MHPI is critical, and I’m proud to announce my role in this mission.
General (Ret.) John Campbell is Chairman of Army Emergency Relief (AER) and NS2 Serves. During his 37-year military career, he commanded all forces in Afghanistan and served as the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Gen. Campbell graduated from West Point and served his early years in infantry and special forces assignments.