Human Resources commander visits Fort Jackson
September 27, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Maj. Gen. Richard Mustion, commanding general, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, visited Fort Jackson last week to discuss upcoming changes in force structure and Officer Evaluation Report methodology.
"Soldiers here at Fort Jackson have expressed some concerns, as have other Soldiers I've talked to, as to the uncertainty of the future, the uncertainty of our Army getting smaller," Mustion said.
Just days before Mustion's visit, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno informed the House Armed Services Committee that the Budget Control Act, coupled with another potential sequestration, will continue to have an impact on the Army's readiness.
"Our Soldiers heard our chief of staff talk about the drawdown, the reduction in the Army's size," Mustion said. "So there's uncertainty as to how that will affect our Soldiers. What we've conveyed to them is that the Army leadership has developed a strategic plan that will allow us to shape and bring our Army down in an orderly manner by reducing the strength and, at the same time, maintaining readiness so it's capable of executing any mission we're given in the foreseeable future."
The drawdown will not be conducted by politicians, he said. Part of the motive for his visit to Fort Jackson was to maintain transparency in the Army's strategy to implement these changes.
"The Army will make the decision about who stays in our Army," Mustion said. "It's about retaining the best of this extraordinarily great Army that we have. The Army would like to retain every single Soldier that we have. Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to do that. So we're going to retain the very best."
Part of that process will be the implementation of a new Officer Evaluation Report, which will affect officers in all branches and all components of the Army.
"We're going to reform how we evaluate officers and focus on evaluating officers consistent with Army Leadership Doctrine," he said. "We're going to focus on evaluating officers based on their leadership attributes and competencies. These changes are designed to build and identify better leaders, to evaluate performance and to evaluate potential, in a manner consistent with that in our doctrine."
Human Resources Command will play a "significant role" in the implementation of the new Officer Evaluation Report, Mustion said. It will be responsible for building the interactive information technology tool that will eventually become the new Officer Evaluation Report, but will also develop the Army pamphlet that will govern the report.
"And they'll also handle training the field on the new evaluation report," he said. "We'll probably begin that with mobile training teams in January, 2014."
Mustion said the Army is also working to maintain its focus on both Soldiers and their families. The Army owes a debt of gratitude to them all, he said.
"Just as the chief says, the strength of our Soldiers is our families," Mustion said. "We recognize that, particularly as we draw our Army down in the future. It's not just about our Soldiers, it's about families, and making (them) Soldiers for life. So, when they take the uniform off, the Soldiers and their families still realize they're part of the Army team."