Garrison Commander Proud To Join This Team
June 17, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--The first Garrison Town Hall under the command of Col. John Hamilton touched on several issues pertaining to the Arsenal work force.
But, before that, Hamilton had to get a little personal business out of the way.
The Garrison commander formally introduced himself to Garrison employees, sharing a bit about his family, and his Army experience as a career logistician with the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations.
The Garrison command is his first assignment within the Army’s Installation Management Command, the first time he has been charged with leading employees who provide the infrastructure for an Army post.
“I’ve had very limited time in the institutional Army … This is very different from commanding a battalion in the 82nd,” the five-time and decorated war veteran said.
But Hamilton did serve under Army Materiel Command commander Gen. Ann Dunwoody as deputy executive officer, so he is familiar with the operations of AMC and its commands, including Redstone’s Aviation and Missile Command, and the Security Assistance Command.
For Hamilton, life comes down to “God, family and work,” in that order. And his “non-negotiables” are: safety, treat people with dignity and respect, integrity, teamwork and do your best every day especially in the areas of efficiency and effectiveness.
Hamilton said he and his wife and two children have appreciated the warm welcome they received from Garrison employees and that he is “excited to be here, to be part of the team. This is a great, great place to be … It’s a real honor and privilege to be part of this team.”
One other bit of personal information " when it comes to sports, Hamilton, a Tallahassee, Fla., native, roots for Florida State University and “whoever is playing the Florida Gators.”
Hamilton’s background with AMC will serve him well during his assignment at Redstone as its general officer corps continues to grow, and it continues to benefit from the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission requirements as well as non-BRAC-related organizational moves to Redstone.
“There’s still a lot of work to do with growth,” he said. “September 2011 (the time period when all BRAC-related moves must be complete) is a major milestone. But reality is this community is going to continue to grow because of BRAC and moves that had nothing to do with BRAC.”
Hamilton said he is impressed with the “phenomenal relationship we have with the local community. Our priorities, collectively, are roads, schools, work force and medical services. We don’t get to stop and take a knee come Sept. 15, 2011. We are just getting started. We will continue to grow.”
He also discussed a new fiscal environment for the Army and IMCOM that will lead to cutbacks, and a greater need for employees to be “as efficient as we possibly can be while being effective.”
Garrison employees need to ask themselves “how do we do what we do even more efficiently? It’s not an easy environment to work in,” Hamilton said.
But growth is bringing opportunity to Redstone that other installations may not enjoy while struggling with the fiscal environment. New facilities and new services are still very much part of Redstone’s future, said Joe Davis, director of Public Works.
The Arsenal’s five-year construction plan includes a $60 million Von Braun IV facility, and a $28 million Army Contracting Command headquarters along with a $15 million widening project for Martin Road, and a $2 million project for a new Gate 9 Visitors Center and changes to Goss Road as they relate to the new Redstone Gateway. In addition, Raytheon will soon begin construction of a 70,000-square-foot state-of-the-art missile production facility on Redstone, and a shoppette is in the planning stages for Martin Road with an opening date in July 2013.
“Redstone Arsenal is changing every day. That’s the beauty of the work at the Garrison. No two days are the same,” Davis said.
Much of the focus of the town hall was on recovery efforts associated with the April 27 tornadoes that adversely affected Redstone and its employees. Following April 27, even as the majority of the Arsenal was without power, the Garrison was able to provide temporary housing assistance, PX/Commissary and Shoppette services, and Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation services, said Alvin Odoms, director of the Garrison’s Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Directorate.
“We have a whole host of resources on Redstone that we can provide to do two things --one, to take care of our employees and the reconstitution of Redstone, and, two, to assist the city,” Odoms said.
He stressed the importance of accountability during emergency situations.
“We tried to reach out and touch everybody that we could to make sure they were OK,” he said. “We’re interested in every employee, not only in Garrison, but the entire Team Redstone.”
During the town hall, Directorate of Public Works employee Greg Calvert was recognized with the Commander’s Superior Service Award for exemplary performance of duty while supporting recovery operations following the April 27 tornadoes and a Marshall Space Flight Center certificate of appreciation for exceptional leadership and dedication to duty while restoring power to Marshall.
“I’m proud to accept this award but this belongs to a lot of people,” Calvert told Garrison employees after receiving the superior service award. “There were so many things that had to be done (to get the Arsenal back to 100 percent electrical power after the April 27 power outage). There were hundreds of little individual things that had to be accomplished and you accomplished it. Thank you for letting me accept this.”
Others recognized for their exemplary work during recovery efforts following the tornadoes included:
Commander’s Certificate for Appreciation -- Keith Cook, Lisa Kendrix, Shannon Lott, Christine Noriega, Karen Peterson, Theodore Tyson and Richard Wall.
Achievement medals -- Brendan Bennick, Howard Berryhill, Bill Best, Giannia Brown, Kennith Carter, Mike Durham, Tony Fuller, Edward Gancarz, Paul Grosch, Tamilene Harris, Ben Howard, Daniel Huber, Terry Likely, David McNair, Minnie Rhoden, Lawrence Rogers, Charles Stewman, Tim Thompson and Paul Walters.
Commander’s Award for Civilian Service -- Timothy D’Ambrosio, Mark Dille, Terry Fincher, Kim Henry, Les Miller, Sharee Miller, Alvin Odoms, Jerry Robinson and Jason Scott.
Others recognized during the town hall included police officer Eric Moe, for placing fifth with his K-9 partner Bruno in explosive detection at the U.S. Police Canine Association National Detector Dog Trials, May 23-25; police officer Billy Booth, for placing second with his K-9 partner Bleckie in explosive detection at the U.S. Police Canine Association National Detector Dog Trials, May 23-25; Terry Davis, for work in developing an emergency management common operation picture that is a model for other Army installations; Glen Reese, for earning the black belt status in the Army’s Lean Six Sigma program; Ashley Kalifeh, for winning the Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware first place community relations award for the Garrison’s JROTC Day; Joey Skinner, for being named the career program manager of the year in support of science and engineering construction fields in the Garrison; Ronnie McDaniel, for exemplary performance as the chief of the Military Personnel Office; and Ivy Downs, for a distinguished 40-year career upon her retirement as the integration branch chief of the Garrison’s Plans, Analysis and Integration office.
In addition, length of service awards were presented to the following: 40 Years " Curtis Clark, Garrison deputy commander, and Clinton Clifton of FMWR-Golf Course; 35 Years " Billy Gaines of Emergency Services, Robert Heard of FMWR-Golf Course and Otis Hillis of Public Works; 30 Years " Carol Mayo Carter and Barry Nunn, both of Logistics, and Jacquelyn Williams of Equal Employment Opportunity; 25 Years " Christopher Carter of FMWR Membership Office, Virginia Dempsey of Army Community Service, Telton Tolbert of FMWR Flying Activity and Michael Wassell of Public Works; and 20 Years " Mark Collins and Ronald Schrimsher, both of Emergency Services, Mark Germonprez of FMWR and Robert Lovett of Public Works.
New Garrison directors introduced during the town hall were Michael Sheehy, Directorate of Emergency Services; Debra Fay, Internal Review and Audit Compliance; Sharee Miller, Public and Congressional Affairs; and Leah Fox, Safety.