By Sean Kelly, AMCOM Public Affairs

Everyone know the Army runs on paperwork, and U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command is no exception. But without paperwork, logistics could not be properly tracked, instructions would not be developed and the Commanding General's intentions would not be promulgated. The Secretary of the General Staff's, or SGS office, ensures that all of the official correspondence from the commander or executive director and the rest of the command leadership is ready for publication and dissemination.

The technical details of correspondence may not seem important, but all it takes is for a simple misspelling or out of place punctuation mark to cause embarrassment or other problems. For example, a NASA Mars probe was destroyed because the unit of measurement was set in feet rather than meters or when recently a dairy company lost a $5 million court battle with its drivers due to the lack of an Oxford comma.

It is the hard work and attention to detail on the part of the Secretary of the General Staff employees that keeps AMCOM paperwork correct and thus AMCOM's mission flowing smoothly. One of those star employees is Shirlee Turpen.

Turpen came to AMCOM as a student aide in the co-op program while attending Calhoun Community College.

"I was very lucky to get this position. The college used typewriters and it was all computers and technology up here. I had to learn very quickly. But I was able to get a permanent position and was the last employee hired off the co-op program," Turpen said

She worked for the Integrated Materiel Management Center (now the AMCOM Logistics Center) command sergeant major, chief of staff and the commanding general before moving over to the SGS.

Turpen checks all correspondence against policy and guidelines and moves it forward or sends it back for correction as necessary. AMCOM, in support of its mission, generates a lot of paperwork. The SGS team provides a critical function of reviewing each document and processing in a timely manner to avoid creating a logjam that would impact operations.

"Working in the SGS is a constant learning process. I'm part of a three-person team and we do our best to get it right," Turpen said.

"Ms. Turpen is a critical part of AMCOM's success. Her expertise and years of experience, as well as her willingness to support the organization, are a truly an asset to the team," said Joyce Myers, the AMCOM SGS.