IMCOM-E director outlines service culture initiative at town hall
Soldiers learn about the Total Army Sponsorship Program at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's Total Army Sponsorship Program Rodeo Feb. 10. Installation Management Command Europe Director Michael Formica outlined the Service Culture Initiative, of which ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WIESBADEN, Germany -- The director of Installation Management Command-Europe laid out plans to institute an IMCOM-wide service culture initiative at garrisons during a recent visit here.

"The only reason Installation Management Command exists is to support garrisons -- you, so that you can perform the critical mission of supporting this community," Michael Formica told personnel during a workforce town hall May 5, 2017 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

Garrisons will focus on four areas for the new initiative: Sponsorship and onboarding, a recognition program, branding, and leader development and training.

"It's a culture of service excellence … and like all things, it requires training and education to build a culture," Formica said. "The first step is to ensure that everybody who is new to the organization is brought on board with an understanding of the criticality of being focused on the customer, so that in the process, we are preparing them so that they are able to perform their duties with confidence."

He went on to stress the importance of garrison personnel continually observing how well they are doing and recognizing those who go above and beyond.

"This is very important because you are incentivizing people and recognizing people for doing what we expect them to do to take care of the customer," he said.

Branding is what helps make sure we all have a common understanding of who we are and what we're here for, he said. Part of IMCOM's branding is its distinctive badge as well as its new and improved slogan, "We are the Army's home, serving the rugged professional," which Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, IMCOM commander, explained in an IMCOM video message in February.

"We are the Army's home and we do touch the whole Army every single day," Dahl said. The added tagline is a reminder that we run our installations in support of mission commanders--people who must be ready to deploy combat power, fight and win, he said. In order for people to succeed in that environment, they need to be able to survive under austere, Spartan, conditions. "So we need them to see themselves as rugged," he said.

The words apply similarly to Family members, he said, who will likely spend months at a time without their Soldier. "Our families need to be self-reliant."

Understanding why we do what we do, knowing who we are and recognizing people for superior performance is three-fourths of the equation, Formica said.

"The last part is the part than enables us all across Europe and across the world to do it well and to the same standard, and that is the professional development, the training and the education."

The training will be done in three phases, he said, the first being "train the trainer," whereby experts go to San Antonio, Texas and train those who will train the rest of us to a common standard. The second phase is the training of leaders, and the final phase is to complete training of all Army professionals at every garrison.

"This training … will teach us how to communicate better, how to recognize when people are frustrated and then some techniques for how to make them happy -- and if we can't meet their needs, to be able to appropriately explain to them why not, in a professional manner, in which they recognize you're doing the best that you can," he said.

"So I ask you all to enthusiastically embrace this new approach over the next four months or so and I look forward -- when I come here back in October or November, and we do this again -- to hearing from you how well this has worked to improve this great garrison."