With his tenure as the U.S. Army Human Resources Command commanding general winding down, Maj. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands, took time, recently, to discuss Army end strength increases, shaping the force, and reflect on his time at spent at HRC.
"When I was here as a captain and major in PERSCOM, we were very AC centric (active component)," Seamands said of his time spent before the merger between the Department of the Army Personnel Command, the U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Command and the U.S. Army Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center to one roof at Fort Knox .
"The Reserve components were down in St. Louis and if we ever collided it was purely by accident," he said. "I think by having the Reserve component managed here now and a lot of the support services for the National Guard that we provide we are much more total Army focused today than we were a few years ago."
Seamands, who took command June 5, 2015, says one of his primary focuses while assigned as the HRC commander was to rethink the way the Army does business, especially when it comes to Soldiers careers.
"We've had some major changes in the past few years," he said.
"You know, personnel is spelled one way, what we've tried to do is change that spelling to personal. Every day we have people calling Soldiers in the ranks and talking about their careers."
Applying that philosophy to the current buildup of forces in the total Army, Seamands says the message remains the same.
"We've made hundreds of phone calls to qualified officers and enlisted telling them we know they may have already made a decision, but we'd really like for them to reconsider. We need them," Seamands said.
Seamands who served as the Director of Military Personnel Management at the Department of the Army, G1, before taking command of HRC, regularly took his message of readiness to installations across the globe, and used that as a platform to tout the work done by the Soldiers and civilians at HRC.
"I come in early for PT. I stay late. I come in on the weekends sometimes. It's not uncommon for me as I walk around the building to see an NCO or officer at their desk working. When I ask them what they're doing, I usually get a response of this is a good time to call Afghanistan or this is a good time to get caught up in what I'm doing," he said.
"I don't know if that story is actually ever told across the Army. Just seeing the pure dedication our Military and civilians have for the mission of readiness, I have a better appreciation of the work that's done here and I think I'll take that appreciation with me."
"I learned a long time ago that nothings impossible to the guy who doesn't have to do it. When I worked at DMPM, I would regularly reach back to the folks at HRC and say this is the plan, can you execute it? " he said.
"I think I did a fairly good job of reaching back to HRC when I worked at DMPM before, but now having served in both positions, I really see the necessity to be nested and wed in terms of what we do and how we support each other."
To Seamands, having an organization comfortable engaging the field just makes the impact of HRC exponential.
"I think 90 percent of the time we got it right here. That 10 percent that we might have missed the mark we went back and we looked at what we did and what we can do better." he said.
Seamands relinquishes command to Maj. Gen. Jason T. Evans, currently serving as the Director of Military Personnel Management at the U.S. Army G-1, April 28.
"This has been an incredible honor," he said. "I ride my bike to work every day. I do so without the fear of I.E.D. because we have great heroes out there keeping us safe and that fires me up to come to work to serve the great people of this Army."
"This is the kind of job that walks around with you. It walks around with me when I do PT. It walks around with me when I travel. It will walk around with me when I PCS."