Meet Your Garrison: From recreation support to supervisor, a narrative of success | Article

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Claudia Rehbein, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center Manager stands with one of the dunk tanks that are available for rent, August 31. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive list of equipment.

(US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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Claudia Rehbein, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center Manager shows the interior of one of the RVs available for rent at ECC, August 31. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive list of equipment.

(US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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Meet Your Garrison: From Camper to Manager, a Success Story








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Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center Manager Claudia Rehbein stands next to one of the Jon boats available for rent at ECC, August 31. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive list of equipment.

(US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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Meet Your Garrison: From Camper to Manager, a Success Story








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Claudia Rehbein, Directorate of Family, Morals, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center Manager demonstrates the kayaks, canoes and trailers available for rent at ECC, August 31st. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive list of equipment. (US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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Meet Your Garrison: From Camper to Manager, a Success Story








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Round and rectangular tables are available for rent at the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center for Soldiers and their families, August 31. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive list of equipment. (US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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Meet Your Garrison: From Camper to Manager, a Success Story








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The Trackless Train is another item available for rent at the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center and is used each year for the annual Christmas tree lighting. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive equipment list. (US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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Meet Your Garrison: From Camper to Manager, a Success Story








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Mountain bikes are available for rent from the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Equipment Checkout Center and can be used on the trails across the street on August 31st. The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive list of equipment. (US Army photo by Jacqueline Hill, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs)
(Image credit: Jacqueline Hill)

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FORT BRAGG, NC — Claudia Rehbein, director of the Oversight Center for Family, Morality, Welfare and Recreational Equipment Funds, recreation specialist, rose from recreational worker to manager over the course of her 28-year career.

Rehbein is originally from Bolivia, where she met and married her husband, a soldier in the 7th Special Forces Group.

“My family owned a shop where I met my husband,” says Rehbein. “With the family business I grew up behind the counter helping with selling items and customer service.”

After marrying her husband, they were soon posted to Fort Bragg where Rehbein began her civilian career.

She explained that she started her career as a volunteer at ECC in 1993. She was promoted to Recreational Assistant, then to Senior Recreational Assistant, followed by a promotion to Supervisor Recreational Assistant and finally on January 2, 2020 to Manager.

Rehbein had two short service interruptions due to relocations to El Paso, Texas, and Panama. But after each break and subsequent return to Fort Bragg, she was able to resume her career with the ECC.

As a military spouse, Rehbein has a good understanding of the challenges faced by military families.

“Like any military family, my husband traveled extensively as a soldier,” Rehbein said. “I understand what it’s like to get up early every day all by yourself, take care of the kids, take them to daycare and take care of everything.”

Through her own personal experience, Rehbein is passionate about serving soldiers and their families and understands the importance of marital preference in the hiring process.

“It is such a privilege that my job allows me to care for and give back to our soldiers and their family members, especially during times of war and operations,” Rehbein said. “I love being able to offer them services so they can relax and de-stress.”

Her favorite devices are the bouncy castles because they bring a lot of joy to families, especially on birthdays.

“I remember being a recreational worker and having to clean them (bouncy castles) all the time,” Rehbein said. “Now I only have to help with the cleaning when my employees need help.”

On her way to becoming an ECC manager, Rehbein described her greatest challenge as overcoming her perfectionism. Over the years, Rehbein has seen many managers come and go, and many of them encouraged her to apply for the position because she was ready.

“I’ve been told for many years that I was ready for the managerial position,” explained Rehbein. “But I was too scared to apply because I was afraid I wouldn’t do it perfectly.”

Eventually, to the delight of James Day, Head of DFMWR Outdoor Recreation, she applied for the position and was hired in 2020.

“Claudia is an exceptional employee who we are fortunate to have on our team,” beamed Day. “Thanks to her many years of experience, she knows this facility inside out. She is a great manager who works hard to always thank her employees and lead by example.”

Rehbein worked for the ECC for all 28 years of her community service and is an expert on its offerings. However, she’s quick to point out that she wouldn’t be where she is now without the support of her outdoor recreation family.

“Thanks to the support of my superiors and my colleagues, I’ve been successful over the years,” says Rehbein with a smile. “Without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Since originally arriving at Fort Bragg, Rehbein and her husband have welcomed two beautiful daughters, her husband has retired and over the years they have repeatedly chosen to remain at Fort Bragg.

“Fort Bragg is a place that offers opportunities for everyone, no matter where they come from,” said Rehbein. “I believe that Fort Bragg is one of the best military bases, especially because of the services and amenities available to soldiers and their families. It’s my home Fort Bragg is my home.”

The Equipment Checkout Center is located on Smith Lake Road and offers an extensive equipment list. For more information, see https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/smith-lake-recreation-area/recreation-equipment-checkout-center.