By Jacob Corbin, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public AffairsJanuary 14, 2016
WIESABDEN, Germany -- The new commanding general of Installation Management Command recently visited U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden and took time to meet with leaders here, as well as to recognize some of the garrison's highest-performing members.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, IMCOM commanding general, started out his Jan. 11 visit by presenting commander's coins to five individuals for their achievements.
Cecilia Kandler, Family and MWR Child, Youth and School Services coordinator; Sgt. 1st Class Jinet Velez, Soldier For Life -- Transition Assistance Program, noncommissioned officer; Felix Bartels, acting Department of Public Works O&M chief; Katherine Vahrenkamp, director, Hainerberg School Age Center; and Ana Cutler, Department of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; all received coins from the IMCOM commander during his visit.
The general is no stranger to Europe. He was stationed with the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany from 1983 to 1986, and with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, Belgium, more recently. However, this is his first time visiting U.S. Army Europe garrisons since he took command of IMCOM in November 2015.
While in Germany, Dahl attended the U.S. Army Europe Winter Commander's Conference and spoke with leaders, including USAREUR Commanding General Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, about IMCOM and its mission.
"It's support," Dahl said, referring to IMCOM's mission. "IMCOM headquarters and the regional directors, garrison commanders and their very professional staffs exist to support the senior commander.
"We refer to it as a supporting to supported relationship," he said. He went on to explain that, in USAG Wiesbaden's case, the garrison supports Hodges and the mission of USAREUR, as well as its other tenant units.
Dahl said he'd emphasize the support/supported relationship everywhere he went during his trip through Europe, meeting with both IMCOM team members and the members and leaders of the commands they support.
He added that, when meeting with IMCOM members, he'd also tell them how important their mission of support is. In fact, if he could speak with each member of IMCOM individually, he'd spend the time doing just that.
"I would want to get across to them how vital … and important their service is," Dahl said. "IMCOM has been around since 2002. The creation of IMCOM, over time, has improved the quality of life for our Soldiers and their Families.
"It's also improved the readiness of the force by allowing the senior commanders to focus on their units, their mission and their training," he continued.
Dahl said while the mission of IMCOM is support, it's up to the supported unit commanders to ensure their people use the services and are taken care of.
"Individual Soldier, Family and unit readiness is the responsibility of the unit commander," Dahl said. "The professionals in IMCOM provide services in coordination with, and support of, those unit commanders."
Dahl said, as an example, that while it's the IMCOM service providers who provide the financial readiness counseling and assistance a Soldier may need, they work through the company commander to help that Soldier.
He wrapped up his time by explaining that IMCOM isn't just here to serve the Soldiers in their supported units, but their Families too.
"Families in the Army are special; they're special because their Soldier has to do things that we don't ask any other occupation to do," Dahl said. "They [the Soldier] have to live within the Army's culture and with the Army's values and to be ready to go to war tomorrow and to win.
"That level of commitment from the Soldier requires sacrifices of not only the Soldier, but from their Family," he added. "IMCOM's commitment to Families is to communicate that we understand that, that we appreciate that and that we will ensure they receive the quality of services that are commensurate with that sacrifice and that commitment. But I would also point out that we have to be realistic in our expectations. Living in the Army, you should expect to live comfortably and above average, but it won't necessarily be world-class or five star. That's a bit unrealistic for the military culture."
Dahl said it's important to find the balance between the two and help Families to understand it.
More photos of the general's visit can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/wpao. For more information about Dahl and IMCOM, visit www.imcom.army.mil.