Maj. Gen. Mitchell updates workforce at town hall
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DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, commanding general for the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, discussed several updates, command priorities and accomplishments during a town hall style meeting held at the Detroit Arsenal Nov. 4. In addition to the hundreds of TACOM Soldiers and civilians present in the auditorium, representatives from the command's depots and arsenals also participated in the meeting via video-teleconference.

After brief opening remarks, the general addressed local-level leadership changes as well as several Army-level leadership changes. Most notably, changes at the local level included welcoming a new TACOM command sergeant major and a new military deputy to the Integrated Logistics Support Center.

Command Sergeant Major Jerry Charles will assume responsibility from Command Sergeant Major Ian Griffin during a ceremony scheduled for Nov. 18.

The new ILSC military deputy, Col. Steven Carozza, joined the TACOM team in early September.

Mitchell also noted that Wendy Saigh had been selected to the Senior Executive Service and currently serves as chief counsel, AMC Legal Center, for all of TACOM.

At the Department of the Army level, Mitchell said that, although Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Gen. James McConville, Army Chief of Staff, were both relatively new to their positions, their priorities had not changed from those of their predecessors; both senior leaders prioritized people, readiness, modernization and reform in that order.

The general noted that the DA-level number one priority had been summed up by senior leadership as "People matter to getting all the other three priorities done."

"People," he continued, "are defined as Soldiers, Families, civilians, and Soldiers for life."

"We will focus on building cohesive teams that look out for one another and don't tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, take care of each other and know each other well," Mitchell said, relaying DA top priority details. He added that top-level Army leadership indicated a re-focus on talent management, new talent-management systems, processes, and a new personnel pay system. Quality of life issues would also be addressed and include spousal employment, permanent change of station moves and housing among the initiatives.

"Those are the types of things you're going to see the Chief and the Secretary focusing on," Mitchell said.

"Modernization in our Army," he continued, "is a priority in order to meet our near-peer competitors in the future."

He added that the United States currently experiences near-peer competitors in all domains of operations -- cyber based, ground, sea and air.

"We're going to a new doctrine which is called multi-domain operations," Mitchell said. "We can't win without it against the threats that we see on the horizon."

The multi-domain operations approach will better, and more holistically, address adversaries and threats.

Army Materiel Command's priorities remain focusing on Korea, the current fight, Focused Readiness Units and Europe.

His own focus areas, Mitchell said, align with the Army's top priorities and expand somewhat to include supply chain optimization, XM-35 production, Performance to Promise, the Opposing Forces Surrogate Vehicle Program, the Rock Island Arsenal and Watervliet five-year plans, Army Combat Fitness Test equipment fielding, Organization Clothing and Individual Equipment and the HMMWV Modernization Plan.

"You're reputation is very high because you are very good at what you do," Mitchell told the workforce. "You've been hitting it out of the park. (Your reputation) is very strong with the Army and AMC, and I want you to know that."

He noted several examples, including the Humvee tire issue that essentially dead-lined the fleet due to a defective tire.

"It was bad news," he said, "But it was the way in which you responded to it, pulled together as a team, kept the Army informed, and worked through it is what impressed everybody."

Mitchell also noted the recent address change for Detroit Arsenal.

"How we view ourselves, and present ourselves to others, matters, especially when you're trying to get resources from the Army or Congress," he said, adding that Detroit resonated with people in a way that Warren does not. Referring to our location as Detroit Arsenal, he added, "Garners attention and resources."

Results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Organizational Climate Survey were also addressed.

"The good part is that there is great pride across the workforce in the support we provide," Mitchell said, referring to study results. "The bad part is there is a perception of a general lack of respect (between) supervisors and co-workers and a perception of favoritism and nepotism."

Survey results also noted somewhat negative perceptions of senior leadership regarding availability to, and interaction with, the workforce. Group cohesion, organizational processes and issues relating to race, gender and age were other areas of concern resulting from collective responses.

Improvement strategies addressed by the general included aggressive story-telling by the TACOM Public Affairs Office, an ILSC Pilot Mentorship Program to be established in FY20, a Commander's Communication Forum -- also to be rolled out in the current FY, a Supervisor Development Program and leadership classes.

"I'm really proud of you," Mitchell told the in-person audience and those attending via VTC. "I'm really impressed with your capability and all you do."

"This is going to be a good year for us, and we have a lot to be excited about," the commander added.