Fort Monmouth personnel urged to look forward
September 29, 2009
- Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong outlined the priorities of C4ISR moving forward.
- A major milestone is approaching for Fort Monmouth personnel who are eligible to move with their jobs to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
- The Priority Placement Program is a notable option for employees who decide not to re-locate.
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. -- "Work hard, play hard and know when to do both" was the top bullet item in Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong's command philosophy presentation at the CECOM LCMC Town Hall Meeting in Pruden Auditorium last Friday.
"I want to power down, to delegate [and] let people do all the fantastic things they're capable of doing." he said in describing his leadership style. Strong emphasized his belief that, by delegating as much as possible and by fostering an environment of trust, subordinates become more likely to put forth their best effort and take initiative.
Strong said he recognizes that sometimes even the best efforts of individuals and organizations result in mistakes. He joked that he himself has made every mistake possible and added that it's important to always be prepared to learn from mistakes, to regroup and move forward with renewed focus on the mission.
Strong said he strives to be approachable and has an open door policy for staff and subordinates. He stressed that he wants to be kept well-informed, especially when it comes to bad news and issues that need to be addressed at the command level. "I think I'm a pretty even-tempered guy," Strong noted. "I'm a team player; I'm not going to jump up from my desk and choke you if you come in with bad news."
He also said he considers himself the ultimate "Safety Officer" and that he encourages everyone to take a step back before doing things that may cause injury and ask themselves if doing something a certain way is worth the risk of an accident.
Looking toward the future, Strong listed the top Army Team C4ISR (Command, Control. Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) priorities. Those priorities include: relocating and reconstituting the C4ISR team at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Md.; supporting overseas contingency operations and Army operational readiness through active participation in Army Force Generation process cycles; facilitating the Reset of equipment and systems for deploying units; and enhancing Army modernization by building the C4ISR portion of the Army Materiel Enterprise.
He urged those attending and viewing the Town Hall Meeting from remote locations to look five or 10 years into the future and to strive to continually improve the processes, services and systems for which Army Team C4ISR is responsible.
"Our strength is in our people; we have a tremendous reputation of commitment and professionalism," Strong said.
Deborah Devlin, the CECOM LCMC G1, provided a Human Resources update at the Town Hall Meeting. According to Devlin, approximately 4,400 Army Team C4ISR employees will be issued Transfer of Function (TOF) notices from their supervisors early next month. The employees will be asked to formally respond to the offers to retain their jobs in the new location at APG.
The TOF notices are formal notices to employees that their jobs will be transferred and that, as occupants of those jobs, they have a right to accompany them to the new location.
Personnel who decide to move with the mission will receive about six months advance written notice of a specific date to report to their new duty station as part of a phased movement, which in turn means entitlement to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders.
For employees who say "no" to the offer of a job transfer, the decision is final. However, an employee who says "yes" initially may still revoke the decision up until their move date without any loss in entitlements.
Briefings on the TOF Notice for supervisors and employees have been held by the Fort Monmouth Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at various times and dates beginning in late August. The briefings continued through Sept. 29.
Personnel eventually deciding not to move with their positions (and who don't retire or obtain other employment through the DoD Priority Placement Program or other means) will receive separation notices no later than June 15, 2011, Devlin said. All personnel still on the rolls will be separated on September 15 2011, the date of Fort Monmouth's closure.
James Richardson, director of the Harford County, Md., Office of Economic Development gave a lengthy briefing covering many aspects of living in Harford County.
He joked that the county is preparing videos for those planning to move there from New Jersey on how to eat crabs and pump gas, referring to the fact that New Jersey is one of only two states in the nation where customers don't pump their own gas.
Richardson spoke of many opportunities for outdoor recreation and shopping in Harford County. He also gave a "mini tour" of residential neighborhoods there and offered a comparison of townhomes or apartments for lease and an update on infrastructure and building improvements, including the opening of two new schools and a high school nearly completed.
Richardson noted that Education Week Magazine voted Maryland number one in the nation for kindergarten-to-grade-12 education and that Newsweek Magazine voted Fallston High School in Harford County as one of the top 15 schools in the nation. "We also have tickets to the New York Yankees [games]; you just have to come to Orioles [Camden Yards] stadium and see them play there," he joked.
A Relocation Fair to be held at Gibbs Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 14 and 15 will feature more information about Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania residential localities as well as programs designed to assist personnel in making relocation and future employment decisions.
Eileen Higgins, acting executive director of the Monmouth County Workforce Investment Board, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Monmouth County Division of Employment, was on hand to speak about the Department of Labor's Fort Monmouth Resource Center at One Main Street in Eatontown.
She said plans are being made to open a "One Stop" center on Fort Monmouth sometime next year. Higgins urged those members of the workforce who expect to be displaced to seek out opportunities for retraining and, if necessary, to apply for unemployment assistance when it eventually may become necessary. If you're not sure if you're eligible, apply anyway and let the state decide if you're eligible," she said.