By Susanne Kappler, Fort Jackson LeaderDecember 16, 2008
Sweeping change is on its way to Fort Jackson. As 2008 winds down, post leaders are charting a course for the future, beginning with a new vision:
"Team Jackson, a proud legacy of training American Soldiers for over 90 years, committed to transforming individuals and institutions, while at the same time providing the highest quality of life and care for our Soldiers, Civilians and Families. Fort Jackson: Tradition Training, Transformation."
"This vision statement is a guide for everyone who works or is stationed at Fort Jackson," said Mike Ryan, the installation's strategic planner. "Everyone plays an important and critical role in shaping the future of Fort Jackson."
The vision statement is the first step in creating a comprehensive strategic plan for Fort Jackson. A team of military and civilian leaders is in the process of developing a three-year campaign plan, which is scheduled to be finalized by the end of February.
"We intend to follow three general lines of operation -- training; quality of life; and sustainment and support -- and get it all in one master document and measure ourselves against that document," said Brig. Gen. Bradley W. May, Fort Jackson commanding general.
The vision statement serves as the foundation for the campaign plan and outlines themes that define the direction of Fort Jackson.
One important concept is the vision's "holistic approach," Ryan explained. The statement addresses "Team Jackson," which includes military and civilian personnel and family members.
"Team Jackson (members) are the Soldiers in all units; they are the civilians, from the contractor who works in the mess hall to the GS-5 in the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), to the civilian at DPTMS or Human Resources," Ryan said.
He explained that everyone on Fort Jackson contributes to the success of the mission and that is the mindset represented in the vision.
"It's something as simple as taking the time to understand, 'I'm part of Team Jackson. No matter what type of job I have, I play an integral role,'" Ryan said. "No matter what you're doing, you give your best effort, because you realize it's part of a big picture that's bigger than you."
One major aspect of the vision statement and the campaign plan is the transformation of Fort Jackson.
"We're going to look at what we're doing and ask, 'How can we do it better''" Ryan summarized.
Transformation affects all aspects of Fort Jackson, from short-term projects such as the development of new ranges to long-term sustainability studies, which look ahead as far as 30 years.
"It's tied into a lot of what the Directorate of Basic Combat Training is doing; analyzing lessons learned from the operational force and how we change certain things that we do so they're relevant and in line with the contemporary operating environment," Ryan said.
Furthermore, the vision connects the post's training mission to its legacy.
"Everybody who's trained here is part of that legacy that will continue," Ryan said.
That tradition includes the post's beginning in 1917 and the training of more than 500,000 troops during World War II.
While training Soldiers remains the main focus of Fort Jackson, Ryan pointed out that training encompasses more than just Basic Combat Training.
It also includes the training offered by Fort Jackson's tenant organizations, such as the Soldier Support Institute, the Drill Sergeant School, the Chaplain Center and School, and the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment.
Whereas the vision statement outlines the intended state of Fort Jackson, the campaign plan will be a strategic road map to the future of the installation.
"The campaign plan bridges the gap between strategic planning and day-to-day execution," Ryan said. "It's an operational plan that drives Fort Jackson toward the realization of its desired strategic outcomes while continuously measuring progress toward those outcomes."
Ryan emphasized that, even though the initial plan will be finalized in February, work on the campaign plan will be an ongoing process.
"The campaign plan will be reviewed quarterly during senior leader off sites, so that it can be continuously fine-tuned," he said.
One of the main aspects of the plan will be to incorporate objectives that can be measured.
"What gets measured gets done," he said. "At the end of the day, all we're trying to do is improve Fort Jackson and have some action plans that are measurable and that we can achieve."
Although drafting the plan may be complicated and time-consuming, the motivation behind the plan is simple.
"Fort Jackson is a great place to serve our nation," May said. "Our task is to make it even better."
Purpose: The Purpose of this Standing Intent is to provide Clarity and Unity of Effort to all Soldiers and Civilians on Fort Jackson. In the absence of orders, this intent statement summarizes our view of our mission.
- Live the Army Values. Soldiers and Civilians, we must Be a Role Model for all we contact.
- Discipline: is doing the Right Thing - even when nobody is watching. Take pride in our Discipline.
- All Leaders, Military and Civilian, are paid to Think. Constantly Seek Improvement.
- We accomplish nothing by ourselves. Serving here means being a part of a Team - and a Team of Teams.
- Train all things to Standard. Know the Standard and Enforce the Standard.
- Fort Jackson Soldiers must be 'Masters' in Basic Rifle Marksmanship and all aspects of First Aide.
- Leaders, at all levels, take ownership for our Barracks. Regardless of age, make them a showplace.
- Sexual Assault, in any form, is a Crime and is not tolerated here.
- When things go wrong, get Accurate Information quickly and efficiently and report to higher.
- Great Leaders, Military and Civilian, Counsel their subordinates. Be a great Leader.
Endstate: Fort Jackson is a great place to serve our nation. Our task is to make it even better. Our mission is vital and our obligations to the nation demand the very best in all of us - Military or Civilian. Our legacy to the generations that follow must be one of selfless service coupled with strong and positive leadership. We will accomplish this task and build our legacy based upon our deeds not on our words.