Mangum meets with LCT
August 16, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 16, 2012) -- The new commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker met the Leading Change Team Aug. 6 to discuss the team's future and show its relevance to the success of the post and the Aviation Branch.
Former commanding general Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield introduced the LCT to the new CG, Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum.
The LCT is a volunteer organization on Fort Rucker that dedicates itself to assist with the process of change. Members range from representatives of the NCO Academy to Army spouses to environmental specialists. They receive training in communication, organization and what LCT is to prepare them for the mission to promote change.
"The LCT is a process change team for Fort Rucker. It's how we made changes to the base, and they've made significant changes," Crutchfield said.
To reinforce the importance of the team, Crutchfield gave Mangum an example of the team's impact.
"The outprocessing reconstruction that we helped make more efficient was huge. It benefits more than just Fort Rucker. We, along with some people from the garrison, were able to take a seven-page outprocessing list and eliminate six pages of it. That seven pages took up time, money, manpower, staffing. It makes an impact because it diminished the frustration that Soldiers have to go through, improved quality of life, and it has saved time and money. It affects the entire Branch. It gets people out of here faster and it gets Soldiers to their first unit assignment faster," he said.
Crutchfield geared the team to have a broader impact on the Aviation Branch instead of solely focusing on local issues.
"We want to do things that affect the Aviation Branch, things like leader development. At first we were changing things like a seat cushion and a stop sign, small stuff. Now we still want to do that, those things are good, but we want to be broader. I want it to be 20 percent local, small everyday ideas, and 80 percent of things that can affect the branch, like the outprocessing reconstruction. We might have to make the change here at first, but it affects the Branch," he said.
One thing that the LCT currently does well, according to Mike Tarutani, Combined Arms Center training liaison officer to USAACE, is "providing a network for people who do have ideas. We can link them to the correct organization or body so they can take action and see their projects go all the way to completion."
Janice Erdlitz, marketing director for the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, emphasized the purpose of LCT.
"Our mission is 'to empower you [the Soldier] to take ownership for change that produces and supports the best Aviation warfighter.' We are not fixing [Soldiers] problems; we are empowering them and pushing them in the right direction. We are not a complaint line and we don't handle quality of life issues, but we are here to promote change and help guide it," she added.
Erdlitz added that there is more to change than just addressing a problem.
"Professional development is a huge part of this. The empowerment of Army civilians or spouses is immense. We might not be able to fix a problem today or the day we receive notice on an issue, but the fact is that through us things are brought to the command's attention that might not otherwise reach that level," she said.
CW4 Timothy McCarter, warrant officer proponent at the Warrant Officer Career College, said one value of the LCT is the ability to help with communication on post between components and to connect commanding bodies to people's needs.
"Communications between the different entities like Training and Doctrine Command and Installation Management Command are vital and LCT helps with that. LCT also gives the command an extra resource to use and for the lower ranks it's a way for their voice to be heard," he said.
Debra Brandon, administrative support specialist of the secretary general staff, said that the LCT helps cover the gray areas that are not under the jurisdiction of Interactive Customer Evaluation or Army Family Action Plan.
"We are unblocking the clog in areas that no one really handles," she said.
Crutchfield said influence is needed from commanding staff, but the key is people taking part in making change.
"I just have the influence to getting an idea solved. I can't see everything. That's the importance of having a team like this. It's easy to criticize, but hard to create, so we have to get people involved," he said.
CW5 Paul M. Sivacek, an instructor at 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, encourages everyone to speak up if they see a problem and have an idea that can solve it. LCT supports the idea that even the lowest ranking Soldier can change the course of the future.
"It's about empowering people even at the lowest levels to make the changes that need to be made. If a junior guy sees something, but doesn't know how to go about getting the right pieces in play, that's where we come in. We want them to do it themselves and get credit, but we are here to facilitate that process," he said.
"We can be a buffer for privates or specialists that feel like they can't voice their opinion on a viable issue that's not being addressed by their superiors. They can come through us … because people in the trenches can make a difference," Brandon said.
"A post-wide change can be ignited from the mind of a junior enlisted Soldier," McCarter said.
Mangum agreed that it was the grassroots workers seeing how things operate every day who will see the best way to make things more efficient on their level and said he would support the cross-level team.
"Change does come from the folks doing it every day; they know how to make it better. This is exciting stuff. Thank you for stepping up and taking ownership. If more people stepped up to make change our planet would be a better place. We have to lead change. You have my support."
For more information about LCT, call 255-0546.