By Mr. Robert Timmons (IMCOM)August 30, 2018
Fort Jackson leaders gathered Tuesday at the NCO Club on post to discuss how application of the broken windows theory could help the installation improve the way it does business.
The discussion is part of the quarterly Commanding General's Stewardship of the Army Profession forum aimed at improving how Fort Jackson passes on the Army values to the next generation. The current iteration of the forum was based on how leadership could apply theories presented in Michael Levine's book, "Broken Windows, Broken Business" to their units and organizations.
Mike Ryan, with the Fort Jackson G5 office who led the discussion, said the book is based on a disputed theory where broken windows, or small crime, can lead to increased crime rate.
"Perception and focusing on the small things can make a difference," said Ryan, who as a child living in New York City witnessed how the city was gradually cleaned up and crime decreased. "Our goal is to take the theory and how can we apply what we have read and apply it to Fort Jackson."
It has been believed the theory was the basis for the city's efforts to clean itself up in the early 1990s.
Brig. Gen. Milford "Beags" Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson's commander, recently changed the structure of the forum away from monthly presentations to quarterly events focusing on how to apply literary works to installation processes and procedures.
Taking care of the small things can positively affect how a unit, or directorate, is viewed.
Beagle spoke during the forum about how as a battalion commander his motor pool was rarely inspected by his commander because any problems were quickly taken care of.
"It's all about knowing what the priorities are and making sure that the weight of effort is focused on those things that are most important," Ann Garner, director of the installation's Directorate of Public Works, said during the event.
Col. Steve Aiton, Soldier Support Institute commander, said if you walk by something that is falling down you need to do something because "what message does that send to the rest of your team about what you accept?"
Fixing the small things goes into everything an organization does and helps the public know Fort Jackson is a good steward of the nation's resources.
When Beagle speaks to the surrounding communities he is "not just selling the Come Meet Your Army tours" but trying to show the American people what the Army is like behind the gates because some never have been on an installation even though they live their entire lives just outside the gates.