FORT BLISS, TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Capt. Brandon Fambro
FORT BLISS, Texas – Spc. Draven Gipe, a native of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, is a culinary specialist currently serving at Fort Bliss, Texas with the 647th Regional Support Group (Forward), Fort Bliss Mobilization Brigade as a building manager for the Facilities section. Headquartered in El Paso, Texas, Fort Bliss is the second-largest installation in the Army, serves as a Mobilization Force Generation Installation, and supports the Joint Force by deploying and redeploying service members and Department of Defense civilians and contractors to five combatant commands.
The Facilities team manages and operates Army facilities at five locations throughout Fort Bliss, ensuring a standard of readiness in order to optimize services and training assets in support of mobilization and demobilization operations. The team manages and ensures the tactical operations center, motor pool, billeting, administrative, and classroom spaces are readily available for mobilizing, demobilizing, and post mobilizations units.
“My job during this mobilization is the building manager,” said Gipe. “I deal with anything that goes wrong in my assigned buildings. I’m the government oversight who facilitates repairs and ensures the buildings are ready for move-in, and I inspect them prior to personnel moving out. I also evaluate the buildings for damage and submit the required work orders for repair.”
Gipe plays and important role within the Fort Bliss Mobilization Brigade’s mission of providing support services for units, service members, and Department of Defense civilians and contractors who mobilize or demobilize at Fort Bliss.
“Spc. Gipe has been instrumental in the issuing and maintenance of building 919,” said Capt. Crystal Maldonado, Facilities deputy office in charge. “He ensures proper safety and accountability measures are followed and maintained for all tenants of building.”
Gipe, who enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in March 2017, always had a desire to be a part of the military and deploy. He deployed in 2019 to Kuwait and Al Qaim, Iraq and understands that living conditions can play an important role in service members’ morale.
“Making sure the Soldiers have a decent living situation is important because mobilizations and deployments can be stressful,” said Gipe. “I don’t want Soldiers to have any extra stress because of their living situation.”
During his prior deployment, Gipe worked as a culinary specialist in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“I was deployed with the 961st Engineer Battalion, an Army Reserve unit from Seagoville, Texas, and prepared meals for NATO, U.S. Army Soldiers and Marines,” Gipe said. “We worked in coordination with the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and served personnel from the French Navy or La Royale, Iraqi Army, and Department of Defense contractors and civilians.”
Gipe’s great-grandfather served during World War II and says part of his decision to enlist was to talk to him about his military service.
“My great grandparents were the last one to serve in my family that I am aware of before I joined,” said Gipe. “I wanted to join so I could talk with my last living great-grandfather before he passed about his time in the military but it never happened.”
“Spc. Gipe is a valued member of the team and assists in building issuing and clearing to demobilizing units, while also ensuring the utmost customer service is provided during the unit’s stay,” said Capt. Maldonado.
As a member of the 647th RSG (FWD), Gipe and other service members who are mobilized to support the mobilization and demobilization mission play an important role for the Soldiers, units, an others who will conduct premobilization training or demobilize at Fort Bliss.
“I’m excited to be a part of the 647th RSG mission,” said Gipe. “So far I’m enjoying my job and the responsibilities that come with being a building manager.”