By Dave Chace, FORSCOM Public AffairsOctober 10, 2013
In the face of fiscal uncertainty and recent on-and-off furloughs of civilian employees, the U.S. Army Forces Command headquarters remains firmly committed to providing ready forces and building leaders within its ranks, said Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, the FORSCOM commanding general, during an all-hands assembly with his headquarters staff Oct. 9 on Fort Bragg, N.C.
Welcoming most of his civilian workforce back following a four-day furlough triggered by the Oct. 1 partial government shutdown, Allyn praised the FORSCOM team's work ethic and reinforced his command priorities while addressing more than 400 uniformed service members, civilian employees and defense contractors lining the railing of the three-story open atrium in Marshall Hall on Fort Bragg, N.C. Several hundred more staff members watched Allyn's remarks via live video feed in overflow viewing areas.
"Every individual that comprises this team is vital, and I think [last week's furloughs were] a painful reminder for all of us -- not that we needed a painful reminder -- that we're a lot better as a total team than we are as half the team," Allyn said, requesting a round of applause in recognition of the civilians' sacrifices.
FORSCOM's duties and responsibilities extend well beyond the staff members' personal challenges, Allyn said. Having just spoken with senior U.S. Army leadership serving with III Corps in Afghanistan, Allyn reminded the staff that their efforts affect the Army's ability to win the fight overseas, and encouraged each member of the audience to help support deployed Soldiers' family members across the country.
"We're going to continue to navigate some rough seas, and about a million service members, families and millions of Americans are counting on us to get that right," Allyn said.
Allyn continued by summarizing his priorities for FORSCOM and its staff: provide ready and responsive forces, build and empower leaders, invest in the command's people, operationalize Army Total Force policy, and foster relationships and enduring partnerships.
"Our first priority remains providing ready forces to the nation," he said, emphasizing FORSCOM's mission to prepare conventional forces to serve U.S. combatant commanders in defense of the nation, at home and abroad. These forces within FORSCOM's purview include the Army's active-duty corps, divisions and brigade combat teams stationed across the continental United States, as well as reserve-component formations in the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.
Even in times of constrained resources, Allyn said Army leaders will continue to find ways to provide leader development opportunities to their Soldiers.
"The good news is that when we're at home station together with our folks, we have a captive audience and it doesn't take a lot of money to train, so we will stay focused on this," he said.
Investing and reinvesting in the command's number-one resource -- its Soldiers and civilians --will require staff members to demonstrate accountability, discipline and the Army values in everything they do, he said.
FORSCOM's efforts will not focus exclusively on the Army's active-duty force, Allyn said. Referencing the Army Total Force, he emphasized integration of the Army's Reserve and National Guard formations into FORSCOM plans.
"We will be a total force in all that we do: training, deploying, fighting and winning. We remain fully invested in ensuring that all of our components are as ready as our resources will enable us to be," he said.
In closing, Allyn told his staff to continue to build relationships and partnerships across the Army's internal and external communities. "We've got brilliant teammates now, but when you've got a hard mission, you can never have too many teammates. So I would ask you to foster those relationships with those who help us accomplish the mission."
FORSCOM will approach the coming days and weeks as an opportunity to exemplify decisive leadership in the face of adversity, Allyn said, and demonstrate the staff's commitment to delivering for the Army and the nation.
"You've all heard the Chief of Staff of the Army use the term, 'the strength of our Army is our nation.' The strength of our Army is represented by each and every one of you. Be that extension of the strength that our country very much needs right now, as we work through the days and weeks ahead of us," Allyn said. "I guarantee it's not going to be easy, but I can guarantee that if we get it right, working together as a team, we'll look back on this and say … our Army came out of it stronger."