451st ESC climate: sunny and cool with a chance for improvement

By Sgt. 1st Class Naurys MarteAugust 17, 2016

451st ESC Town hall meeting
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
451st ESC Town hall meeting
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Bruce E. Hackett, commanding general of the 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and Army Reserve Capt. James R. Garner, headquarters and headquarter commander of the 451st ESC, address the Soldiers' concerns during the co... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - The command climate result for the 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command is in and is way cooler than Kuwait's weather.

The Soldiers anonymously submitted their answers to the online survey to help the command assess areas of improvement within the unit. The unit has shown significant improvement in sexual harassment/assault program, equal opportunity, and the Soldiers' perception of their leadership.

Eighty-three percent of the unit's members completed the survey. The unit received 81 percent favorable comments. Some of the positive comments from the Soldiers included: "I'm proud to be part of the unit," "I'm excited to come to work every day," and "there have been some changes and those changes are in a positive direction."

The unit's equal opportunity advisor, Army Reserve Sgt. Maj. Ruben Cardenas, setup the climate survey and distributed the link to the Soldiers. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Bruce E. Hackett, commanding general of the 451st ESC, received the results and presented them during the unit's scheduled town hall meeting August 12, 2016 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Hackett encouraged the Soldiers to ask questions and to continue toward improving the command's climate.

"Trust in your leadership and trust in your Soldiers leads to a healthy work environment," said Hackett as he reviewed the results of the survey with the Soldiers.

According Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Sarah Nash, SHARP advisor with the 451st ESC, what has possibly led to the improvement in this program was "a combination of things: leadership is taking SHARP seriously, our small group training and the outside presenters have received positive feedback, and junior soldier are asking questions."

Meanwhile, the EO advisor has taken steps to ensure Soldiers are treated with dignity and respect - regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, and ethnicity.

"I make my presence known at various events to support the Soldiers, participate in their events, and build a relationship that allows them to be comfortable speaking their concerns directly to me or through their chain of command," said Cardenas.

Among Soldiers' concerns, basic leader course attendance was one of the issues brought up in the survey. Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis J. Thomas, the 451st ESC's senior enlisted advisor, clarified that BLC in the deployed environment does not guarantee all Soldiers needing to complete the training will have the opportunity to attend. Out of the 18 BLC seats available per month to the command, these have to be distributed amongst the 1st Theater Sustainment Command-Operational Command Post and its subordinate units.

Also, Soldiers are released for training when their section is able to release them based on their mission requirements, said Thomas.

There were also negative comments in the survey against sending Soldiers to BLC during the deployment.

"The Army has decided to have a BLC school here, so I'm taking advantage of it. We are here to professionally develop all our Soldiers. As leaders you should want to send your Soldiers, because it's also an opportunity for another Soldier to step up," said Hackett firmly as he expressed his support to continue sending Soldiers to BLC in a deployed environment.

Soldiers also want to be heard, and they want to be involved in the decision making process, said Hackett as he encouraged the senior noncommissioned officers to allow them to be involved and pay attention to their ideas.

Overall, the command's climate seems to have improved, and the command team has expressed their support to continue improving the climate to help eradicate any SHARP and EO related issues within the command.