By Robert DozierJune 26, 2013
SAN ANTONIO (June 13, 2013) - - Employees at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command headquarters got an update on the furlough process as they go through the final weeks before implementation during a town hall meeting at the Fort Sam Houston Theatre.
Many also arrived early for a ceremony to bid farewell to MG John "Sonny" Uberti, who spent 18 months as IMCOM deputy commanding general and chief of staff. Uberti departs for his next assignment serving as the chief of staff at the U.S. Strategic Command.
"Sonny was the right person to bring to our headquarters because of his significant contributions and inspired leadership," said LTG Mike Ferriter, IMCOM commander.
"As he steps off, others will step up, but for now, we all owe a lot to Sonny for the science of installation management," said Ferriter. "Due to his patience or impatience, our installations have become ready and resilient platform for our Soldiers and Families."
"It's because of you, trying to rub two nickels together to make a quarter, that my journey has been successful," said Uberti. "My family asked me to remember to thank the whole IMCOM family. It's because of what you do that my family flourishes."
"You are the true professionals," said Uberti. "I promise to tell the IMCOM story wherever I go."
At the town hall, Karen Perkins, IMCOM director of human resources (G1), gave an update on the status of the furlough process.
At IMCOM headquarters, "We've issued all furlough proposal memos and today is the last day for replies," said Perkins. "Next week, we will be working with the deciding officials to assist them in preparing responses for their employees."
"For IMCOM headquarters, our first furlough day will be on Friday, July 12, since we're predominantly going to make Friday our furlough day," said Perkins. "We will continue the same and conclude the last week in September. If you need something, and everyone needs a buddy and someone you can talk to, don't be afraid to ask. We are here for you."
Ferriter, Perkins, and IMCOM CSM Earl Rice answered audience questions.
Q. Are there examples of exemptions being considered?
A. The standard exemptions have already been announced: employees listed as deployed to combat zones, certain child development center employees, all NAF employees, all OCONUS foreign nationals, all individuals appointed by the President with Senate confirmation, employees funded through the National Intelligence Program, foreign military sales employees, full time sexual assault responders and any employee not paid directly by DoD accounts.
"All responses will be carefully and compassionately looked at," said Perkins. "You also have a right to appeal to the Merit System Protection Board after the first day of furlough."
Q. Is comp time permitted for official travel on non-work days?
A. If directed to travel on a weekend, the normal rules will apply for comp time. However, employees may not travel on their furlough day as this represents official business, unless an alternative furlough day is taken.
Q. Can two furlough days be taken in one week, to accommodate a TDY trip exceeding four days?
A. Flexibility can be granted as situations come up. We will provide specific guidance to the Directors based on the details of the travel event.
Q. Will furloughs impact staff enrolled in the civilian fitness program?
A. There has been no decision to suspend the program. "Exercise is medicine," said Rice. "After PT, you don't think about pain and pills. Why wouldn't we want to get out and start the day off right? For us, it gives us the energy we need for this awesome responsibility to take care of Soldiers and their Families. You don't have to run, take a walk or jog to be motivated. It teaches you to say 'I will never quit.'"
An additional list of Frequently Asked Questions concerning the administrative furlough may be found at http://cpol.army.mil/library/general/2013sequestration/index.html#faqs.
The IMCOM leadership took on the subject of sexual harassment and assault, the Army's number one priority.
"Hardly anyone ever sees it coming," said Ferriter, referring to incidents of sexual harassment or assault. "Like a snake, the offender knows exactly when he's going to strike. This is the reality and difficulty in fighting this problem."
"Let's make this about trust," said Ferriter. "We're going to do what's right. Sexual harassment and assault can happen in a flash. We have to trust each other to defeat anything that we face together."
Finally, LTG Ferriter and CSM Rice welcomed to the team Tom Schoenbeck, Central Region director, and Brenda Spencer-Ragland, acting director for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (G9).
Ferriter and Rice took the opportunity to publicly commend certain members of the IMCOM workforce for their length of service and performance.
For 30 years of service, the command recognized Gregg Chislett in G4.
There were two Commander's Awards for Civilian Service: to Melvin Cook for exceptional performance of duties from 2009 to 2013 while serving as the senior fire protection specialist; and to Carol Mitrisin for exceptional performance of duties from August 2011 to April 2013 while serving as a program analyst in G9.
There was also a Meritorious Civilian Service Award to LaToya Sizer for exceptionally meritorious service from June 2011 to April 2013 while serving as a senior strategic communications officer.
For more information on how sequestration and furloughs affect the IMCOM workforce, go to http://www.imcom.army.mil/Organization/G1Personnel.aspx.
About the U.S. Army Installation Management Command:
IMCOM handles the day-to-day operations of U.S. Army installations around the globe -- We are the Army's Home. Army installations are communities that provide many of the same types of services expected from any small city. Fire, police, housing, and childcare are just some of the things IMCOM does in Army communities every day. Our professional workforce strives to deliver on the commitments of the Army Family Covenant, honor the sacrifices of military Families, and enable the Army Force Generation cycle.
Our vision: Ready & Resilient Army: Provide Soldiers, Families and Civilians with a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service.
Our mission: IMCOM will synchronize, integrate, and deliver installation services and sustain facilities in support of Senior Commanders in order to enable a ready and resilient Army.
To learn more about IMCOM: