In a sea of sleep systems and uniforms is a woman who has dedicated a decade to the U.S. Army and the Soldiers of Fort Bragg. Surrounded by crowds of Soldiers whom she proudly takes care of daily, for her it’s just another day at the office and she makes what some consider a painful process a seamless one.
“I enjoy my job a lot,” saidPhyllis Sims. “I really like what I do.”
Sims, a shipping, receiving and stock clerk at the Fort Bragg Central Issuing Facility, said she has proudly issued and received Soldiers’ equipment for more than 10 years.
“She is very warm and friendly,” said Lashonda Leathers, a supply technician at Fort Bragg’s CIF and a coworker of Sims for eight years. “She’s a good people person.”
Born in Columbus, Ga., Sims started out as a teaching assistant in the Fort Benning is a area and was on her way to become a full-time teacher there when she was glancing at the classified ads in the Fort Bragg area where her father, a retired command sergeant major lives.
She came across a CIF clerk opening and on a whim, applied for the job that developed into an interview two weeks later. After the interview, Sims was offered the position. She returned to Georgia and notified her school principal she was leaving.
On Sept. 15, 2002, just two weeks later, Sims started the job and said she never looked back.
Since working at CIF, Sims said she’s learned that the only thing she can count on being the same is that it is always busy.
For many Soldiers just the thought of CIF can be stressful.
“I like the idea that I can help a person change their attitude toward CIF,” said Sims.
She said she always listens to the Soldiers and takes the time to fully understand their point of view.
“I’ve learned a lot about the military since I started working here,” she said. “I now know what the Soldiers go through … and the importance of their gear.”
Being an Army brat, Sims said she didn’t have much interest in her father’s gear until she started working for the CIF. She now knows how important the equipment she issues to every Soldier is and ensures it’s in the best condition possible.
Sims said she remembers the first time she prepared Soldiers for Combat, a young Soldier came into get his equipment.
“He was shaking and was extremely nervous,” said Sims.
She recalls pulling him aside and sitting down. She told him that everything would be okay, and after he received all of his equipment, he came back to her station and gave her a hug. He thanked her for her time and told her that it helped him a lot.
“She not only does what is required, but she goes above and beyond for the Soldiers,” Leathers said.
“I take the time to put myself on that side of the counter,” said Sims. “I treat people how I want to be treated.
Sims continues to provide that standard of treatment in the new CIF building, now located at the end of Howell Street on the Corps Support Command side of post.
“It was a very smooth transition,” said Sims. “We weren’t closed for a single day.”
Huge quantities of gear were moved and Sims “Soldier-first” philosophy and customer care also made the move.
“I have that customer service mentality built in me,” she said.
Sims always tries to show her appreciation for the Soldiers and is grateful for the sacrifices they make while serving their country.
“At CIF we do take gear and issue it out, but we also appreciate all they do for us.”