After nearly 15 years, finance battalions are back.
The 82nd Sustainment Brigade re-activated their Finance Battalion during a ceremony held at Fort Bragg, NC on May 20. The 82nd Finance Battalion, a direct report to the Sustainment Brigade, is led
by Lt. Col. Adrian Plater, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Latoya McLaughlin, senior enlisted leader.
Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Horlander, military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller [ASA (FM&C)], and Sgt. Maj. Darnell Cabell, U.S. Army Finance and Comptroller Sergeant Major.
“This is a historic event for the Finance and Comptroller branch. This will affect every Finance and Comptroller Soldier within our formation,” said Horlander. “Congratulations to Lt. Col. Plater and Sgt. Maj. McLaughlin for leading our profession into future operations that will benefit not just our branch, but the rest of the Army as well. We’re very excited for you.”
Although FC is the smallest branch in the Army, it fulfills the critically important responsibility of planning, budgeting, executing, and disbursing funds for the force across the spectrum of garrison and deployed operations. Soldiers within the profession must ensure the proper and effective use of appropriated funds throughout the execution process, and account for those resources to accomplish the Army’s mission.
Prior to 2007, there were more than a dozen Finance Battalions at various installations. Due to changes within the Army’s readiness lifecycle, and how the service employed its units during counterinsurgency conflict, the Finance and Comptroller (FC) force structure changed. Battalions were phased out and replaced with Financial Management Support Units, commanded by officers at the Major rank.
Now that the Army has adapted how it trains to fight and win the Nation’s wars, the structure for the units tasked with resourcing the force came into focus.
“With a battalion structure similar to the rest of the active duty Army, the FC field will be better positioned to support commanders during Large Scale Combat Operations across a myriad of competencies,” said Horlander.
According to Cabell, in addition to increased operational support to tactical echelons, Finance Battalions will also mitigate redundant gaps in relevant doctrine, leadership development, and training.
“Re-activating Finance Battalions will increase our readiness and strengthen oversight for leaders within the branch,” Cabell said. “And trained and ready Soldiers who are experts in their craft are essential to sustainment operations.”
Col. Greg Worley, as the commandant of the Finance and Comptroller School, is responsible for integrating policy, doctrine, and training updates to prepare FC Soldiers. Worley explained that the battalion activation “better allows our formations the ability to plan and sync operations in Division and Corps combined joint operational areas.”
The 82nd Finance Battalion is the first of several battalions planned for re-activation this year and next.
Horlander added that the success of battalion re-introduction will depend on the work by many in the field, and how effectively the 82nd Finance Battalion optimizes financial operations in support of the All-American Division.