IMCOM commander visits Hawaii
March 22, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- A three-star general clad in the Army Combat Uniform grapples with a sergeant first class, also wearing ACUs, in a steamy and stuffy exercise room, here. About two dozen junior Soldiers, sitting on a blue mat, watch as the pair demonstrates a triangle choke.
The general jumps up from the blue exercise mat and asks the Soldiers, "What else to you need to know?" The Soldiers, assigned to the 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade, 311th Sig. Command, answered that they wanted to know about the finer points of combatives techniques, such as the elevator sweep. A few of the braver ones answer the general's challenge of taking him on.
Martinez Physical Fitness Center was an impromptu stop on the itinerary of Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, commander, Installation Management Command, during his tour of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Monday-Tuesday. Ferriter's combatives partner, Sgt. 1st Class Tohonn Nicholson, is a former lead instructor at the Army Combatives School at Fort Benning, Ga. He said that he and Ferriter are interested in improving Soldiers' combatives skills when they visit IMCOM installations.
Ferriter (left) greets surprised guests at the Hale Koa's Registration Desk during his tour of the facilities, Tuesday. IMCOM's FMWR division oversees the Hale Koa, one of five Armed Services Recreation Centers worldwide.
Ferriter's first day included an aerial tour of USAG-HI's installations on Oahu. USAG-HI encompasses 22 installations and training areas spread across 207,858 acres, including the Pohakalua Training Area on the Big Island.
Ferriter concentrated on services on the second day of his tour. Stops included Army Community Service, here, where he learned that ACS's Blue Star Card program received the Secretary of the Army Award for Quality of Life in 2010. ACS, here, created the program in 2004 for spouses of deployed Soldiers. BSC activities include special events, such as "Walk Off the Wait" hikes and free or discounted child care.
Amanda Montgomery, who runs the BSC program, told Ferriter that spouses of deployed spouses appreciate the program.
"We have about 1,600 cardholders now, but we've been up to 2,300 cardholders when the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams (of the 25th Infantry Division) were deployed at the same time."
Later in the day, Ferriter met with USAG-HI employees at Sgt. Smith Theater, here, for an employee town hall.
"We're (he and his wife, Margie) learning about the incredible things that you do to take care of our Soldiers, their families and yourselves," he said.
Ferriter displayed a slide of his family photo. He told the crowd that he and his wife grew up in Army families.
"We moved around 18 times in my first 18 years, and now Margie and I have raised an Army family on the same great Army installations that we and you all provide for," he added.
One of their sons, Capt. Paddy Ferriter, is the commander of Company C, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, "Gimlets," 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID.
"(IMCOM) and you are providing for Paddy and his wife Laurie. They are an Army command team; they have 148 Soldiers to care for, so that puts a real face on what we and you all do in providing customer service," he continued. "Champion Soldiers, their families and civilians. It doesn't cost a penny to make someone feel like a million dollars."
In a separate tour, Margie met with ACS staff, senior spouses, family readiness group leaders, Survivor Outreach Service Center staff and families, and staff at Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center.
The Ferriters ended their visit with a tour of the Hale Koa's underground facilities, including the laundry room and cooking areas.
Ferriter's Command Philosophy
•Build teams, build trust, empower subordinates.
•Do your best, do what's right.
•Take care of people, say thank you -- often.
•Great units enforce standards.
•Demonstrate inspired leadership.