ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, led his last town hall meeting in Heritage Hall, here, July 29. O'Connell is scheduled to retire on Aug. 11.

The town hall included several speakers who made announcements about command activities, opportunities and plans involving operations at ASC.

"I want to say thank you for the past two years," said O'Connell during his closing remarks. "This is just an amazing command -- no matter what your [military occupational specialty], your professional career field, your grade level or rank -- you contributed to an enormous mission of supporting the entire [Department of Defense] across the whole globe. It doesn't get any bigger than that; it doesn't get any more challenging than that," he said.

O'Connell emphasized how much he enjoyed living in the Quad Cities.

"I can't think of a better place to end my career. This is kind of a culminating place for me," O'Connell said. "We really like the arsenal, the people and the Quad Cities community. It's been a privilege, an honor, to be your [commanding general] over the past few years."

Gayla Pacheco, equal employment opportunity chief, ASC, talked about the command's progress in implementing the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. The plan was created in accordance with the Executive Order 13583, which was signed in 2011. The goal of the order was to better promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.

Pacheco said the Diversity Committee has identified ways for reaching out to more diverse applicant pools, helped to support inclusive learning and wellness programs, and began developing new training and performance evaluations that the committee hopes will help sustain improvements.

"Simply put, by listening to all voices across our command, we will only further the command's efforts to improve diversity and inclusion across our workplace," she said.

Patty Perrigo, director, G-1 (Human Resources), ASC, provided an overview of recent initiatives in the G-1.

She talked about ASC's civilian fitness program, which was designed to help employees improve their health. It is a six-month, one-time opportunity where employees take up to three hours of administrative leave per week for exercise and health education.

About 40 people enrolled in the program during the first 150 days. Perrigo said the goal is to give personnel the opportunity to jump-start healthier lifestyles. She said personnel can start the program whenever is convenient for them.

"This is really to get people on the path to wellness, and to get people into the habit of developing exercise skills and healthier lifestyles," said Perrigo, adding that the program includes the issuing of Fitbits and a pretest-posttest health assessment.

Perrigo also talked about ASC Headquarters' new nursing mother's room in Building 390 at Rock Island Arsenal. She said the area is temperature controlled, has four individual locking rooms, a refrigerator, custodial services and an adjoined sink.

The point of contact for using the Nursing Mother's room is Linda Ottman, wellness coordinator, G-1 (Human Resources).

Perrigo also announced that the Federal Employee's Group Life Insurance plan is scheduled to hold an "open season" in September. She said employees would be able to increase their coverage for the first time since 2004.

The new Strategic Human Capital Plan was also a prominent topic during Perrigo's speech. She said the five-year plan was created to help give direction to the G-1's goals of recruiting, developing and retaining a skilled and engaged workforce.

Both O'Connell and Michael Hutchison, deputy to the commander, ASC, endorsed the plan during the meeting.

"This is a good plan, and most importantly, it is not all philosophy and fluff," said Hutchison. "There is some philosophy in there, but there are also a lot of metrics and data that allow us to see ourselves and where we are."

"I think it means getting the most out of someone's potential," said O'Connell before signing a copy of the plan.

More than 25 people received awards during the meeting, which included the following:

The 30-year Length of Service Award: Melissa Nunn, Larry Odens, William Flake, Michael Hutchison, and Dan Reilly.

The Superior Civilian Service Award: Martin Utzig, John Walsh, Patricia Perrigo, Jay Carr, Connie Schultz, Timothy Fore, Robert Coffey, Joseph Schulz, Penny Kroul, Jerome Jastrab, Gregory Anderson, Cheryl Vincent, Mark Lovejoy, Tom Kenyon, and James Coffman.

The Samuel Sharpe Award: Charles Mitchell.

The Meritorious Service Medal: Col. Fredrick Hannah and Col. Jacob Aaron.

The Army Commendation Medal: Capt. Marshall Herman and Master Sgt. Previn Parker.