Brig. Gen. Darren Werner, Commanding General Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, conducted his second virtual town hall Dec. 2 since taking command in June.
His first briefing to the workforce focused on setting the stage by introducing his command philosophy and fielding a few questions from the participants. During this town hall, he started by summarizing his quarterly briefing to Gen. Edward Daly, Commanding General Army Materiel Command.
Part of this summary included a discussion on the need to modernize the force, the importance of advanced manufacturing, preventative and prognostic maintenance, and where TACOM employees are delivering readiness to the Army.
“[The command] is delivering capability…in a rate that is unprecedented,” he said.
Werner then moved on to discuss COVID-19. Since Thanksgiving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a spike in cases spreading across the country.
“We have to remain vigilant to ensure that we are doing everything that we can to prevent COVID from infecting us, our families, and those in our workplace,” Werner said.
He reiterated the importance of personal hygiene during the pandemic and following the basic guidelines of washing your hands often, wearing your mask, maintaining social distancing, and cleaning heavy use surfaces. He also reminded the workforce to not become complacent.
COVID-19 has not been the only focus for the command this year.
Werner took the opportunity to also brief on the command’s progress in Project Inclusion.
This new initiative, set in motion by the Department of the Army, is allowing commanders to take an inside out look at their commands and allows organizations to come up with home grown solutions to tackle the issue of diversity and inclusion within the workforce. Part of this adjustment is to make sure organizations are doing everything they can to train and coach individuals who are not where they need to be on how to treat everyone equally.
“Our leaders are working to create an environment that is inclusive of all of our employees,” Werner said.
Although there have been processes in place to create a diverse and integrated workforce, Werner stated they should be reviewed and adjusted as needed.
“If we are making an effort…that’s important,” he said, “and if you are seeing the effort that’s being made…that’s more important.”
In line with creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, TACOM is introducing a mentorship pilot program, which Werner briefly discussed during the town hall.
“The program is designed to tap into the existing knowledge skills of our senior or higher performing employees,” Werner said. “and advance the skills of newer or less experienced employees.”
The program is voluntary, and more information will be coming out internally to TACOM employees on how to be a mentor or how to be a participant.
Finally, more than 40 questions were submitted to Werner throughout the town hall. He took the opportunity to field 15 of those questions in the remainder of the allotted time. The rest of the questions will be answered and distributed via the TACOM portal within the next couple of weeks. Employees will be notified via an official email when the document is ready to be viewed.