By Jim Hughes, Fort Rucker Public AffairsApril 15, 2019
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker's Air Traffic Services Command earned bragging rights within U.S. Army Forces Command when it received the command's Supply Excellence Award recently.
ATSCOM's logistics staff, or S4, received the honors for outstanding property book operations, according to a letter signed by Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, deputy commanding general of FORSCOM.
"The preparation and selection process was keen, and represents the culmination of hard work and dedication from all of the leaders and Soldiers in your unit," Richardson wrote. "This is an outstanding achievement by you, and is a testament of your unyielding professionalism and highly successfully supply operations."
Col. William B. Garber III, ATSCOM and 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group commander, and Jeanelle Joseph, ATSCOM logistics management specialist, both received letters from Richardson congratulating them on the accomplishment.
Garber said he's pleased that his unit is setting the example within the command.
"I am always surprised at how many regulations there are that help you achieve excellence, but are difficult to follow in their entirety," Garber said. "And this particular unit has been able to do that. You've probably heard the expression that good units have SOPs, but great units actually use them. And this is a unit that has used its SOP and it shows with the result of this award. They were able to show FORSCOM what right looks like.
"It's not the strongest area for most units," he continued. "When you can achieve success in areas like this, commanders and senior leaders don't have to focus down as much -- they can focus up and out because they know that the basics are being done correctly. We don't have to micromanage -- we ask, 'How can I help you do it better?'"
Joseph, who also received a certificate of achievement from Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Ryan, deputy chief of staff G4, logistics, at FORSCOM, said she was excited about earning the award, which she previously helped the unit win in 2013, as well.
"I kind of forgot how it felt the first time around -- I forgot how exciting it is for the whole command," she said, adding that the S4 hadn't competed after winning in 2013 until the 2018 competition. "We're a small team -- really small -- but we work really well together. It was fun -- a lot of work, but it was fun. It feels good -- hopefully I can motivate other people to compete and try to be the best."
She said that she feels she's successful because she likes to involve her co-workers and she doesn't procrastinate.
"If I have something I have to do, I do it -- even something as simple as putting a file away. If you wait and wait and wait, and don't do your job like you're supposed to and you wait until the last minute, it becomes too hard," she said. "Success to me is doing what needs to be done and doing it when it needs to be done. Do it right the first time so you don't have to do it again.
"And working well with others," she added. "Everyone has their own skills and abilities, and by trying to do something by yourself and not including others, you actually hurt yourself. Maybe they have a point of view you could use to help you more than if you just went at it by yourself. Sometimes different points of view actually help. That's what we do here -- everyone here participates."
Her supervisor, CW4 John Griner, director of logistics for ATSCOM, agrees that teamwork is key to the unit's success.
"It's great to be in an organization where you give people just a little bit of guidance and direction, and then they take what you gave them and run with it and succeed --nothing ever fails," he said. "This is an organizational award --she's just the key and integral part for that particular category."
Having Joseph on the team allows the S4 to take it to the next level, he added.
"She's always determined to be successful," Griner said. "She's a great person to supervise. I give her a small task and she turns it into something tremendous, even the smallest thing -- that's her character. You don't have to tell her twice."
Joseph said the plan is to not wait five more years to earn the honor again.
"We'll be going for it again this year," she said. "We'd like to repeat."
And Garber thinks they have a good shot at it.
"I actually use them (as an example for) other units within the brigade," the colonel said. "I have them come through and tour the maintenance facility, and just absorb the culture that exists over there. Even if you don't know the technical aspects of what they do, one walk-through of that facility leaves you with a sense of a culture that says, 'This is what right looks like.' It's hard to put in words, but you'll walk out and say, 'OK, I see why we do things correctly.'"