By William Bradner, U.S. Army Installation Management CommandApril 17, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas (April 17, 2014) -- Vice Chief of Staff General John F. Campbell met with senior leaders and some very junior members of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command immediately following IMCOM's change of command ceremony here, April 8.
The message to both groups was remarkably similar: Remain resilient, watch your fellow Soldiers' backs, and realize what you're doing today is vital to the Army.
To the cast and crew of the U.S. Army Soldier Show, Campbell gave assurance their message of resiliency and their ability to entertain was an important part of the Army mission.
To the commanders and command sergeants major of garrisons around the world, Campbell passed a charge to do everything they could to provide Soldiers, family members and civilians what they need to be resilient.
Meeting with the leaders in the historic Fort Sam Houston Theater, where the Soldier Show is preparing for opening night, gave Campbell the opportunity to speak briefly with the Soldiers involved.
"I've seen the Soldier Show in years past," he said, "and it always brings a message of hope and strength. I'm sure this year will be no different."
"But remember," he continued, "as you're on the road on behalf of Soldiers and their families, you need to look out for each other, too. The men and women you're serving with right now will be close to you for the rest of your lives, look out for each other."
"Most of all," he told the group of young Soldiers, "thank you so much for sharing your talent with the Army and helping us become more resilient."
Moments later he addressed more than 150 senior leaders of the Installation Management Community with a very similar message.
"You need to understand why it's so important for us to make sure we're doing everything we can to provide our Soldiers, our family members as well as our civilians with those skills and those tools to be resilient," Campbell said. "The impact you have on Families, the impact you have on our Soldiers, I'll be the first one to tell you, we take it for granted. We don't tell you thanks enough. So from me, Ms. Hammack [Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment)], and our senior leadership, thank you for what you do every single day."
Campbell commended the garrison commanders and command sergeants major for their ability to build bridges and seek solutions that enable the Army to take care of its extended family.
"There's always going to be friction when you have an AMC [Army Materiel Command], TRADOC [Training and Doctrine Command], Forces Command, and IMCOM," he said. "We're figuring out those relationships. I think what [departing commander Lt. Gen.] Mike Ferriter has done and what [newly arrived commander Lt. Gen.] Dave Halverson will continue to do will make sure that we understand where those lines are drawn. We're all working for the same thing -- that's taking care of our Soldiers and Families.
"In the end, it's about readiness," he said.
He spoke briefly about the challenges the Army faces in the near future, with sequestrations, budget cuts and draw-downs on the horizon, and indicated the most frustrating part of all that was the uncertainty involved, which makes planning difficult.
"I think the average Soldier is just sitting there thinking, 'Just tell me what's going to happen, and I'll take it from there and figure out how to make it work,'" Campbell said.
"Well I'm asking you to hang in there with us during some very tough times as we make some very tough decisions," Campbell said.
Campbell has served as Vice Chief of Staff since March 2013, providing him with the opportunity to visit many Army garrisons around the world.
"Every day I'm impressed with the resiliency, I'm impressed with the leadership and I'm impressed with the passion and the energy that our civilians and our military folks have for our Army," he said.
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 child-care 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.