Leaders debate way ahead for 'Great Place'
July 7, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas, July 8, 2011 -- Senior leaders on the Great Place joined III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr. to work on the installation's way ahead.
In what will eventually become part of Campbell’s campaign plan that guides Fort Hood to 2021, the general divvied up senior commanders, senior staff and senior Department of the Army civilians into four teams to weigh, debate and then deliver a briefing on their findings.
At issue were four separate lines of effort in line with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s campaign plan for the service, as well as proposals for a vision statement for Fort Hood.
“We need to take a look at what works for Fort Hood and III Corps,” Campbell said. The general put the onus on those who lead Soldiers, directorates and support services on the installation.
“We are here to get an updated vision of the way ahead and where we want to take Fort Hood in the next decade,” Brig. Gen. Terry Hildner, commanding general, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said. “We are looking to identify the game changers that we all as a command have got to put personal emphasis on.”
Those game changers included Training and Readiness; Infrastructure, Services, Management and Development; Comprehensive Fitness and Family Care; and Community Relationships.
The groups worked to focus their visions to determine how to best serve the Fort Hood community and its Soldiers and Families.
“We want to ensure our Fort Hood vision campaign plan is in line with the Army, Forces Command and IMCOM campaign plans in order to provide better support to Soldiers, Families and civilians on the installation,” Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Mark Freitag said.
To focus those visions, military and civilian leaders looked to their peers to see what was working and what could use some improvements. Colonel John Thomson, commander, 41st Fires Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, said the collective synergy of the discussion was powerful.
“Every successful organization needs to have a clear vision that leaders understand,” Thomson said. “When the collective leadership of an installation is in-sync on priorities and the vision and they can assess where they are, it benefits the entire community.”
The groups looked at what Fort Hood was doing right " training Soldiers and providing outstanding training facilities, deploying Soldiers, maintaining close relationships with surrounding communities, and placing a command emphasis on the Family First Policy.
There also was discussion on where the Great Place needs work " managing expectations when it comes to services, civilian professional development, marketing the installation, and getting back to basics by developing junior leaders.
At the end of the session, Campbell said he had great feedback and was happy with the dialog on the tough issues.
“I had no intent that we would solve everything today,” the general said, but added, “We can use this to build on the campaign plan.”
The next step, Campbell said, is to take a look at the feedback and ideas generated by the groups and begin working the campaign plan, which would be completed in the coming months.
“Today was about teamwork,” he said.