ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command leaders hosted a town hall Feb. 9 to address questions and updates regarding COVID-19, sexual harassment/assault response and prevention, and rewarding employees’ achievements from a supervisor’s perspective.The town hall was virtually hosted through Microsoft Teams.Listening to and Rewarding EmployeesCECOM Commanding General Maj. Gen. Mitch Kilgo reiterated his expectations for supervisors including continuing to recognize excellence in employees through awards and having open conversations with employees from the top down.“We need to award excellence when we see it,” Maj. Gen. Kilgo said.These conversations include future listening sessions between employees at all levels in CECOM with Maj. Gen. Kilgo and CECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Kristie Brady.“This is an opportunity to talk to the Command Sgt. Maj. Brady and myself unfiltered about what is going on in your workplace,” Maj. Gen. Kilgo said. “We want to get in and have this dialogue with employees.”Maj. Gen. Kilgo is making these listening sessions a priority with the workforce. The sessions will be voluntary to participate in and include small groups with both supervisory and non-supervisory personnel.Command Sgt. Maj. Brady also introduced an upcoming initiative to benefit all employees, the Voice of the Employee (VOTE) program. VOTE is designed to encourage all employees to have their voices heard through DoD and command surveys.“At our level, feedback is a gift,” Command Sgt. Maj. Brady said. “It’s something that helps us to see our blind spots and it’s an opportunity to see those areas we wouldn’t normally see.”Command Sgt. Maj. Brady said that change starts with supervisors leading by example through sharing with their employees why surveys matter, giving them time to complete surveys and thanking them for completing surveys. CECOM is getting ready to kick-off its command climate assessment, which will be the soonest survey for employees to share their feedback.“Remember, words whisper and actions thunder,” Command Sgt. Maj. Brady said. “It’s through your voice that we will see change.”COVID-19 and the FutureCol. Joshua Trimble, CECOM G3/5 and lead for CECOM’s COVID-19 vaccination plan gave supervisors an overview of the process, procedures, qualification and how to volunteer for the COVID-19 vaccine.The COVID-19 vaccine is being administered in phases based on self-reported health designations to employees who volunteer to receive the vaccine. Vaccination is not mandatory for Soldiers, civilians or contractors.“It is a personal decision and I encourage you to seek out the science,” Col. Trimble said.Currently active duty military, DoD civilians, DoD beneficiaries, active duty and civilian retirees, reservists and select contractors are eligible to receive the vaccine through the command. Eligible recipients choosing to receive the vaccine should sign up through the following website: https://cecom.aep.army.mil/apps/gen/COVID19Vaccine/default.aspx.“We will not waste a shot,” Col. Trimble said.The DoD community is currently administering both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to eligible recipients, however, Aberdeen Proving Ground has only received and administered the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at this point in time.Col. Trimble stated that COVID-19 herd immunity will likely occur when about 70-80% of the population is vaccinated and that the vaccine does not change the current rules of conduct.“When you’re vaccinated, the current rules still apply: wear your mask, social distance and wash your hands,” Col. Trimble said.Maj. Gen. Kilgo made clear that vaccinations will not determine the workforce’s return to work or telework policy.  The return to work is dependent on the positivity rate around the area where employees report to work.  While there may be a correlation between a decline in positive cases once more of the population is vaccinated, the vaccine totals of the workforce are not the return to work determining factor.“Your safety is a priority,” Maj. Gen Kilgo said.Sexual Harassment Training and PreventionThe CECOM SHARP office took the time during the town hall to train supervisors on SHARP procedures, responsibilities, reporting, and the investigative process by educating supervisors of the recent unacceptable events at Fort Hood.Leadership also discussed the recent report that was published detailing the mistakes, wrong-doings and distrust at Fort Hood within its SHARP program and installation leadership. The report found that the SHARP program underreported incidents, was structurally flawed and failed to report incidents to leadership, as well as a large distrust in leadership among personnel.“It starts with the leadership. It’s our responsibility,” Maj. Gen. Kilgo said. “If it exists, everybody in that chain of command should be responsible.”While this report investigated issues at Fort Hood, Maj. Gen. Kilgo wanted supervisors to be well aware of the problems and mistakes that occurred to help prevent such a scenario from happening within CECOM.“There’s no room for sexual assault or harassment. Zero tolerance, we need to eradicate it,” Maj. Gen. Kilgo said. “It’s not something we should have anywhere within our ranks.”Leadership reiterated the importance of supervisors reporting incidents up the chain of command to ensure that the proper procedures and actions to help the victim can swiftly occur.“If this is happening to you, you need to report that and tell somebody,” Maj. Gen. Kilgo said. “In this command, that behavior is not acceptable. If you are exhibiting this inappropriate behavior, we’re going to get rid of you, fire you and prosecute you.”