FORT KNOX, Ky. (May 18, 2015) -- U.S. Army Human Resources Command, or HRC, hosted nearly 30 human resource professionals from across the Nation for its first G1/G1 Sergeants Major Course for members of the Army Reserve May 4-7 at the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex.
According to Army regulation 600-3, the G1 is responsible for the Army's military personnel system and for principle management of personnel.
The course is designed to foster an open interchange among all its HR professionals. Collaborations like this conference help improve HRC operations to better meet the needs of all the Army's Soldiers, regardless of component.
The four-day conference gave attendees the opportunity to focus on a variety of topics dealing with current and future policy changes as well as database changes like the new Integrated Personnel and Pay System -- Army. IPPS-A is a new, web-based HR system that is being implemented to address replace complex interfaces among more than 40 disparate HR systems.
Opening the nearly week-long conference, Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mustion, commanding general of HRC, underscored the importance of meaningful discussion throughout the course.
"The dialogue will be very helpful, not only for you, but for us," Mustion said. "The Army is a learning organization and everybody learns in these types of environments."
Army HR professionals are responsible for managing the Army's most important resource, Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G1, Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, told the course attendees.
"I appreciate what you all do," McConville said. "As I like to tell people the Navy is ships, the Air Force is planes and the Army is people and really that's the most important asset that we have in our Army. You manage the talent of those people."
Army Reserve Soldiers play a significant role in the Army's total fighting force. It takes thousands of HR professionals using many systems, working in concert, to manage their needs, said Brig. Gen. Barbara L. Owens, deputy commanding general of HRC.
A reserve Soldier herself, Owens, was a driving force behind the development of the course geared toward the HR professionals who work with the reserve component. She was on hand for most of the conference and urged the attendees to take the opportunity to address any questions and concerns they have from any directorate within HRC.
"This is your time to ask questions, to let us know what we can do better," Owens said. "Some of you have called me and asked questions like, 'why does HRC schedule systems maintenance over the weekend when many Army Reserve units are conducting monthly battle assemblies?' So, this is your time, to get a better understanding of why we do stuff like that."
It was the ability to ask questions about policies and procedures like this one, which was one of the biggest benefits to attending the course said Maj. Janelle Jones, the chief of officer personnel for Army Reserve Medical Command in Pinellis Park, Florida.
She said attending the course has better helped her to better understand the intricacies of the directorates and programs run by HRC.
For Jones, it was of particular importance to learn more about how decisions on the assignments of Soldiers are made.
"Sometimes we have somebody suddenly taken out of our ranks for different scenarios like early retirement or extenuating life circumstances," said Jones. "Now I can answer the questions the command has when that person can't be replaced right away."
Another big take away for Jones was the ability to network with HR professionals at the command and throughout the reserve. Meeting people she had been working with by phone and email enabled her to cultivate more robust working relationships.
"It was a great conference," Jones said. "I would tell all my G1 counterparts, if they can't make it -- send a representative. I think the earlier we put the message out of what HRC can do for us, the better."
Active-duty units have reserve Soldiers assigned to them, and, conversely, reserve units have active-duty Soldiers assigned to them. To better synchronize the training for both components, HRC is looking at the possibilities of bringing both components together for the future courses.