Senior civilians gain perspective from the top
June 27, 2014
ABERDEEN, Md. -- The Army's senior civilian executives don't wear military rank, but they are the equivalent of general officers at several levels. The U.S. Army Materiel Command gathered about 60 of those top leaders for a Civilian Senior Executive Leadership Forum here, June 19 -20.
AMC's senior civilian, John B. Nerger; who currently serves as the executive deputy to the commanding general, hosted the forum.
"We don't get a chance to do this very much, so that's why I'm excited to be here," Nerger said. "We are busy in today's Army, but this is important to get together."
The Army budget, reshaping the workforce and institutional transformation were among the agenda items.
Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, offered insight to the senior leaders and noted the difficulties of the past year.
"Last year was a significantly challenging year with furloughs sequestration, no overtime, no hiring and no bonus pay -- all of that was tough on our employees," Via said. "Thank you for helping us get through that period."
During his presentation, Via emphasized why Army civilians are vital to the Army's mission.
"You provide the continuity in our organizations," he said. "We will change out seven of our ten major subordinate command commanders this year, so despite the transition I'm not worried because of the great leadership sitting in this room."
Via said relationships were an important driver in organizational transition.
"At your level, relationships are more important than experiences. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can't influence the people you are working with, then you can't get anything done." Via said. "As we go through this transition, the most critical component of our organization is our people."