Inactivation of 1st Personnel Command sign of change in Army human resources operations
Col. David T. Jones, commander of U.S. Army Europe's 1st Personnel Command (right), and PERSCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Annette R. Weber prepare to case the 1st's colors during the unit's inactivation ceremony on Kilbourne Kaserne in Schwetzingen, Germany,... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHWETZINGEN, Germany -- "Today is about history and tradition, but more importantly (it's) about the future."

With those words, U.S. Army Europe Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Rusty L. Frutiger alluded to changes in personnel operations within USAREUR while honoring the legacy of 1st Personnel Command at the command's inactivation ceremony on Kilbourne Kaserne here, June 26.

"It's bittersweet, but it's also exciting," said Col. David T. Jones, the 1st PERSCOM commander. "The important thing is moving on. Getting (human resources) professionals where they need to be is a step ahead."

The ceremony was a benchmark in the sweeping changes in human resources operations in USAREUR, as 1st PERSCOM was the last personnel command in the active Army. The inactivation is "almost the final step" in a shift away from personnel units to expanded human resources capabilities within individual units and a more robust HR division within the

USAREUR headquarters, Jones explained.

"That translates to better service for Soldiers and commanders," the colonel said.

Frutiger said USAREUR has moved away from dedicated personnel units to expanded unit human resources sections that will place HR expertise where it is best able to support commanders and Soldiers.

That move was underscored by the June 11 inactivation of the Army's last personnel services battalion -- Bamberg, Germany's 38th PSB.

During the ceremony here, Command Sgt. Maj. Annette R. Weber, who served simultaneously as the senior enlisted leader for the 38th and 1st PERSCOM, helped Jones case the PERSCOM colors.

While Army human resources is changing, Jones said its focus will be the same as it has been for the 30 years 1st PERSCOM existed: serving Soldiers, civilian employees and their Families.

"Today the colors are gone, but the spirit and legacy of 1st PERSCOM will live on in the hearts and memories of the thousands of dedicated professionals who were assigned here over the years," he said.