Premier installation support will continue within realistic capabilities
July 25, 2011
- With fiscal constraints, USAG-HI must focus on core services
- Employee town hall informs garrison workforce of way ahead
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Even with budget and manning limitations, the garrison will continue its important mission of supporting Soldiers and families with services to promote readiness and well-being.
This was the message Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, discussed at two garrison employee town halls at Fort Shafter, July 5, and Schofield Barracks, July 6.
“People who rely on you, who need your services, are unaware of the budget and manning constraints,” he said. “They still need those services.”
While available garrison services may change, be cut back or take longer, garrison employees will continue working to ensure Soldiers and families are taken care of with good facilities and housing in a safe community, and by addressing quality of life and infrastructure concerns.
Mulbury passed on praise from senior commanders -- Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific; Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commander, 8th Theater Sustainment Command; and Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commander, 25th Infantry Division -- thanking the garrison for its continued high-level of support and professionalism for Soldiers and units everyday.
“I believe this is a core value of the organization: to come to work everyday to make a difference for Soldiers and families,” he said.
However, the garrison can no longer afford to continue doing things the way it’s been used to, as the fiscal realities filter down from a national level to the local garrison, Mulbury explained.
“The garrison needs to focus on the core programs,” he said. “We need to understand what they are, what they cost, if they’re worth the cost, and what can we do without.”
Core programs are those essential things that only the installation can provide " and has to provide " to support the readiness and well-being of Soldiers and families.
“We may no longer have the luxury to do the ‘nice things,’” Mulbury said. “Frankly, it’s going to get a lot worse. This is a fundamentally different fiscal environment than we were all used to operating in.”
Garrison functions will have to be trimmed down to meet realistic capabilities in the bigger Army and Department of Defense picture, the commander said. Some contracted and some Department of the Army civilian functions and responsibilities may transition back to Soldiers, unlike the past 10 years.
“The garrison can’t be asked to do more than it’s resourced to do because that would be an unreasonable expectation,” Mulbury explained.
He emphasized his commitment to taking care of the workforce, despite the proposed reduction of 208 civilian authorizations for fiscal year 2013 “to right-size the organization.”
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … (Installation Management Command has said there will be) no reductions in force,” he said. “I’m keeping sight of the fact that it’s a person with a family, with commitments, behind each job. We’ve (taken care of the employees) before, and we’ll do it again.”
Over-hires will be moved into authorized vacancies, Mulbury said. Positions will not be backfilled when vacated by attrition. Workloads will be reviewed and funds will be reprogrammed between directorates, he said.
Mulbury reminded employees that building for the future, tracking career goals and focusing internally on each other are still important qualities.
He took the time to publicly acknowledge many of the garrison’s accomplishments and accolades.