By Mr. Brian Hill (Leonard Wood)February 12, 2020
More than 200 Soldiers and Army civilians assigned to the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence attended a town hall meeting Feb. 6 at the Main Post Chapel.
Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, hosted the event, and used the opportunity to highlight MSCoE's accomplishments against headquarters priorities; to discuss results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint and Command Climate surveys; and to hear from the MSCoE workforce.
Topics discussed by Martin included the success of a basic combat training personnel augmentation pilot, the implementation of a new trainee hold structure, the new Army Combat Fitness Test, integration into Army Future Command's processes, and improvements made in sponsorship of new personnel.
"We owe it to people who come here with their families to make that transition and to do it well," Martin said. "We're going to get better at that."
Martin also spoke on the new Training and Doctrine Command campaign plan, and highlighted topics such as improving recruitment and decreasing attrition.
"It's comprehensive but it gives TRADOC focus and a direction," she said. "Our MSCoE priorities are very well nested already, which means we'll be able to integrate into these efforts."
Martin spoke about the TRADOC Optimization of Medical Services, called TOMS for short. She said the 3rd Chemical Brigade is part of a pilot for the program -- an effort to place organic medical assets back in battalions and brigades to provide care earlier and ultimately to keep trainees in training.
The next subject discussed by Martin at the town hall was trends in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, which received a 57 percent response rate here -- second highest in TRADOC after the Rapid Equipping Force.
Based on the survey results, some noteworthy actions being taken include new MSCoE-level civilian recognition programs, revised procedures for hiring to increase consistency in the process, energizing career program managers, supervisor refresher training and engagement groups.
"You've asked for change by voicing your thoughts and providing some critical feedback, so now I need you to change along with me as we make this an even better place to work," Martin said.
Survey categories that respondents wanted improvements in included resourcing, dealing with poor performers and communication.
Martin said that both the FEVS and climate survey had similar themes.
"One of the things that I've heard loud and clear is communication," she said. "We need to ensure we communicate. I know that leaders may take it for granted -- we sit in a lot of meetings. We put out a lot of information, and … there's an assumption that the people attending those meetings go back and communicate all the way down."
The remaining time at the town hall was given over to audience questions, which ranged in topics from education and manpower to the future use of the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital building -- it is scheduled for demolition following the completion of the new hospital in 2024.
Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, was present at the town hall to assist her in providing answers to audience questions. Towns said that upon completion of the new hospital, the current 1960s-era hospital would be demolished.
Martin said she's scheduled another town hall -- with an emphasis on the whole post community -- for late March.
"This is my way to continue engagement on everything from progress with housing to workforce concerns," she said.
Martin closed the session by thanking everyone, "who braved the cold weather to attend."
"I'd like to wrap this up by telling all of you how much of a pleasure it is to work with you and command this great organization," Martin said. "I'm so proud of you and what you do."