By Col. Deborah GraysJanuary 16, 2009
Change is the one thing in life that is guaranteed. Our individual responses to change may vary, but in the end, we must learn to adapt to the changes coming down the road in order to navigate through them successfully. At Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, we are undergoing drastic changes with the onset of the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 (BRAC).
At the BRAC Town Hall Meeting held Jan. 8, guest speakers from the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Lawrence Joel Army Health Clinic, Georgia Department of Labor and other organizations were available to answer your questions regarding BRAC and its impact on you, your Family and your job. I hope some of your questions were answered. We are receiving questions via firstname.lastname@example.org and are working to get those answered. Once answered, we will post them for everyone to see in the "BRAC Rumor Control" column in the Sentinel, on the public Web site (www.mcpherson.army.mil) and on the internal portal for employees.
Those of you who attended the meeting are asking some important questions about where you want to be in a post BRAC world. Will you be eligible to retire, and if so, will you be mentally and economically ready for that option' If you want to continue to work, with what organization would you like to work' Where would you like to work' Do you want to stay in your current field, or try another' Are you willing to relocate' Would you consider a position in the private sector'
By looking at your options, you will begin to gain a better picture of where you want to be and, by starting now, you\'ll have the time to work toward that goal.
Those of you who do not work for the garrison may have an option of moving with your organization. Garrison employees will not have that option; since the garrison is going away, so will the jobs of garrison employees. Whichever category you may find yourself in, by planning early and knowing what is available to you, I hope you can minimize any adverse consequences this necessary Army action may impose on you. You may even find opportunities are presented that you might not otherwise have considered. The likelihood of a positive outcome depends greatly on how far in advance you prepare and the amount of effort you put into the process.
We don't have all of the answers right now, but my promise to you is to provide you with as much information as possible as soon as it becomes available. Toward that goal, in addition to posting answers to questions on Web sites and in the newspaper, we will be conducting a quarterly town hall meeting. The next one is set for April 9.
My job is to keep you informed and I plan on doing that through the various methods discussed in this column. We are also looking at the possibility of having some small group brown-bag lunches on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have good ideas about other ways I can facilitate communication on this topic, let me know about them. My staff and I will look at all ideas and implement those that are feasible and make good sense.
With change come new beginnings. With proper preparation, we can look forward to the positive things that await us in 2011. Nobody said change is easy, but we can make the best of it by embracing new opportunities and influencing what our future holds for us.