By Tony Lopez and Dr. Brian Shiozawa, Joint Munitions CommandJanuary 17, 2020
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - During 2016, the Army published the Enduring Personal Readiness and Resilience Operations Order. The OPORD enabled and empowered commanders to know and care for those they lead and to strengthen Soldiers and Civilians by increasing personal readiness and resilience.
In early 2019, the Joint Munitions Command's Commander's Ready and Resilient Council started engaging Ready and Resilient Integrators to synchronize, implement and assess all functions aimed at improving Soldier, Family, Civilian and unit readiness across all JMC installations.
Now, after nearly a year of developing and implementing the program, Headquarters Joint Munitions Command's CR2C members report a valuable and positive impact that is making a difference and improving Army readiness.
"The CR2C program has facilitated and improved communication between Headquarters JMC and subordinate installations, as well as communication between installation leadership and employees," said JMC Command Surgeon, Dr. Brian Shiozawa.
The CR2C program consists of a diverse field of specialists, which includes Human Resources, Safety, Employment and Equal Opportunity, Sexual Harassment Assault and Response Program, the JMC Command Chaplain, and the JMC Command Surgeon. As part of the program, CR2C members visit subordinate installations to offer assistance and evaluate how JMC can best meet the installation's unique needs. Installation visits usually include opportunities to engage directly with staff in their work location, opportunities to meet with different stakeholders, and assessments of how the existing community and installation programs are benefiting the workforce.
During recent travel to an installation, Stephanie Allers, wellness representative, identified employees' desire to restart town halls. Middle managers felt more integrated and included with a restored opportunity to communicate with leadership and have a "more personal touch from the commander and deputy." The Deputy Commander now conducts brown bag lunches with the workforce, which provides an informal way for both upward and downward communication at the lowest levels.
Sherrie Newman, wellness coordinator, finds that the visits help provide JMC Headquarters and installation commanders a "pulse of what's going on" with the workforce. At another installation, she confirmed how employees are happy with the existing benefits that include off-site gym memberships and Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs Services. Sarah Lawlor, human resources program specialist, identified an increased use of social media at subordinate installations to increase general information knowledge and job opportunities.
Cathy Sonnenberg, the JMC industrial hygienist, noted that there is improved reporting of regulatory occupational health exam and respirator fit compliance. She noted that the program helps to "integrate all levels of the installation to make improvements."
Luke Kearns, director of the JMC Safety Division, believes that the visits from headquarters improves morale and reinforces beliefs of safety by demonstrating to the workforce that leadership is involved. He noted that housekeeping at facilities improved, making the workplace more organized and safe and said that employees are "glad that I was out there asking them…and listening to what they had to say. People like to see staff from headquarters showing that we care, not just to inspect but to listen. I like the (CR2C) program. The commander hit a homerun with this one," he noted.
Gerald Handy, EEO specialist, identified that employees are interested in obtaining additional training. Previously, employees did not have an opportunity to communicate to their leadership that they would like to gain additional experience to be eligible for promotion. "Employees emphasized that additional training would make them better candidates for job opportunities and allow leaders to promote internally," said Handy.
Chaplain (Maj.) Charles Scott developed a new training called "Coping with Change Training." The training was designed to help the workforce successfully adapt to changes in the work environment and gain a better perspective on change. Based on the five dimensions of strength including: physical, emotional, social, spiritual and family. Scott helped employees to focus on the spiritual and emotional dimensions when dealing with organizational and personal changes. The inductive and interactive nature of the training also helped the participants to learn from one another and form stronger connections with one another. The CR2C program provided the opportunity to share this training with the workforce at the installations and build rapport with the workforce, while performing his ministry duties.
In addition, the Chaplain has had more opportunities for exposure with the workforce that, in turn, inspires more of the employees to reach out to him for support. People are more comfortable bringing up concerns, seeking advice and obtaining his counsel through the partnerships and relationships that he is able to build through the program.
The JMC Surgeon meets with the staff of the Occupational Health clinics, substance abuse, worker's compensation and emergency services at each installation to ensure that installation commanders are informed of the services that are available for their employees.
Thanks to the CR2C program, specialists at JMC Headquarters and at each installation are building relationships, understanding opportunities to improve operations and quality of life, and meet JMC's mission of munitions readiness.