Via addresses workforce in global town hall
June 28, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, hosted a global town hall, which was broadcast live to all of AMC's major subordinate commands worldwide from the Bob Jones Auditorium here June 28.
Via used this platform to thank the AMC workforce, discuss milestones of the past 10 months, the future and present the refined mission and vision statements. He also discussed special topics such as SHARP training and furloughs.
"Thank you for what you do. It is not lost on me -- the enormous impact you make across the U.S. Army," Via stated.
He described the immense pressure the staff works under such as the hiring freeze, restrictions on overtime and furloughs all while continuing to support the mission.
"It is a very challenging time for our Army, a very challenging time for Army Materiel Command, but I have confidence in our people. We have a great team and I want to thank you for what you do," Via said.
A key part of every town hall is demonstrating the direction of the command and ensuring the staff understands the mission and vision.
To demonstrate the new era the staff was entering, Via showed a chart illustrating the ebbs and flows of the Army has endured over the years.
He explained that with the rise of combat operations, the Army grew and with the decline of these operations the Army also reduced in size.
"We've had these eras before," Via reminded the staff. "There are some challenges; the new fiscal reality is here. We just have to determine when and how it's going to level out."
In addition to understanding the new fiscal reality, Via said. The staff must be ready to support the next operation whenever and wherever that may be.
"We have to remain relevant to the warfighter. If we are not relevant, why are we here," Via asked. "We have to be responsive to their requirements ensuring they have what they need to fulfill the mission."
Along with this new era came a refined view of how to accomplish the mission the Army has delegated to AMC.
MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS
"I've revised the mission and vision of the command to better capture AMC's role in the Army and joint operations," Via said.
AMC's refined mission is to develop and deliver global readiness solutions to sustain unified land operations, anytime, anywhere.
AMC's new vision is to be the premier provider of Army and joint readiness to sustain the strength of the nation.
"The bottom line is sustaining the strength of the nation. That's what we do," he continued.
Via also emphasized two special and serious topics: sexual harassment and assault and furloughs.
Leaders across the Army, including Via, have reiterated the Army's zero tolerance stance on sexual assault and harassment.
"Its zero tolerance, that's the bottom line," Via said. "It undermines the trust in an organization and when you see something inappropriate you've got to act."
Via stressed that the decision to implement furloughs was not an easy one for the Secretary or the Department.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced May 14 that the Department of Defense will furlough about 680,000 civilian employees for 11 days, starting July 8. Most employees will be furloughed one day per week, equating to a 20 percent cut in pay for those weeks. The furloughs are a result of automatic budget cuts triggered by sequestration, and will save about $1.8 billion, a portion of the $22 billion that DOD is short in its Operations and Maintenance account.
This will affect about 67,000 of AMC's employees across the headquarters and 10 major subordinate commands.
"It's tough and we are here to support you as you go through this," Via said.
Via also discussed the impacts to the military. The force is expected to be reduced from about 580,000 to 490,000, as directed in the Budget Control Act of 2011. These impacts are unrelated to sequestration.
"This is a reduction and impact to the entire force," he continued.
"I ask that supervisors put down their blackberries and get from behind their desks and talk to their employees," he continued.
Concluding where he began Via said, "I am immensely proud of what you do and I appreciate the sacrifices you and your families make each and every day."