By Susan A. Merkner, U.S. Army Installation Management CommandNovember 18, 2019
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS ─ Gen. Gus Perna, Commanding General of U.S. Army Materiel Command, encouraged Army Installation Management Command leaders to "think big and get moving" on continuing improvements to Soldier and Family quality of life initiatives.
"We are here to improve life for Families," Perna said Nov. 18 during the third-quarter major subordinate command update at IMCOM headquarters. IMCOM is a major subordinate command of AMC.
The goal is to create an "assignment of choice" atmosphere at all Army installations, he said.
"I want every installation to be the #1 choice, and you are the group to help us get to that," Perna said. "The key question leaders should ask themselves is, 'Does it make Army Families happier?' "
Maj. Gen. Timothy P. McGuire, IMCOM Acting Commanding General, outlined recent quality of life highlights in housing, facility investment strategy, and ways of addressing AMC focus areas and specified tasks.
McGuire also presented the schedule for the Garrison Commander's Conference, which begins Nov. 19 in San Antonio.
Perna said he wants to hear from commanders on what changes they think are needed, and he urged IMCOM professionals to consider what is best for the Army collectively.
Paul Burk, director of IMCOM G9, briefed the group on financial strategies for implementing quality of life enhancements within Army Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Burk discussed the financial options for improving readiness by providing a balanced portfolio of programs and services that support the physical, emotional, behavioral and spiritual well-being of Soldiers, civilians and Families.
He presented data on installation quality of life assessments, spouse employment opportunities and other programs.
Perna praised IMCOM's efforts to date and discussed the way ahead.
"Our ability to present the data is our key to success, something people can understand," Perna said. "We need to have clarity on each garrison, and we need to be graphic so senior leaders can understand the options available to them."
Other topics addressed at the quarterly update were base operations and services in support of Army priorities, such as housing, historic homes and the barracks management program. Topics also included providing easier base access for Gold Star Families and honorably discharged veterans, and development of the Digital Garrison mobile app.
Perna encouraged IMCOM professionals to change the business model to sustain the Army's good work.
"We need to lead our way through this, not react, and not think the way we always have," he said. "We need to prioritize funding and provide a solid foundation for the future."