PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - As 2022 came to an end, Picatinny Arsenal garrison commander, Lt. Col. Alexander D. Burgos, reaffirmed the garrison’s commitment to the U.S. Army Installation Management Command ’s Service Culture Campaign (SCC), which guides a wide range of operations.
“The Service Culture Campaign is not just a program – it is a people first approach,” said Burgos. “The campaign constitutes an investment in our most valuable resource, people. People are the Army Chief of Staff’s number one priority, and the SCC will be used to operationalize that priority.
“As a supporting command for DoD’s joint center for guns and ammunition (Picatinny Arsenal) the commitment to our Soldiers, families and civilians remain sincere and unwavering.
At the fundamental level, the garrison’s renewal of the SCC begins with a pledge to their customers. The Customer Pledge states, “We will:
- deliver quality products and services,
- build relationships – with communities, with our customers and with each other,
- be kind and respectful to those we serve,
- conduct ourselves professionally,
- welcome and encourage feedback; we will communicate and listen,
- provide neat, professional, and aesthetically pleasing facilities,
- take ownership of our actions.”
“Picatinny has often been referred to as ‘The Best Kept Secret of the Army’ probably because it is a one-of-a-kind facility that provides virtually all the lethal mechanisms used in Army weapon systems and other military services,” said Burgos. “We are a small installation with big responsibility. Many Warfighters we serve do not know the full extent of our capabilities.”
The garrison commander said he is very proud of the multiple efforts of his team during 2022. Performance Year 2022 (PY22) brought special recognition to Picatinny as it was recently picked as the “Best Garrison” within the IMCOM Directorate Sustainment. Picatinny will now compete against all five Best Garrison Directorate winners for IMCOM’s Best Garrison. That winner is then forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Army’s nominee for the Commander in Chief Award for Installation Excellence.
The Picatinny Garrison had a number of accomplishments in the Performance Year 2022.
The Directorate of Public Works (DPW) released its first Installation Energy and Water Plan (IEWP). Picatinny’s energy intensity and water use reduction continue to exceed the Federal Army Sustainability Goals. Lower energy consumption will result in future savings of about $105,000 a year.
Regarding the environment, Picatinny strategically partnered with the installation’s largest mission partner (U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center) to fund more than $230,000 of environmental permits to overcome funding issues and redirect garrison priorities directly to the customer mission that requires them, thereby avoiding hefty fines and violations.
In accordance with guidance from higher headquarters, the garrison was able to reduce overtime by 42 percent with a cost avoidance of over $260,000. Officials also collected $10 million in reimbursable funding from their 19-mission partner reimbursable agreements. Also, the Contract Review Board locked in a cost savings of more than $1.6M for service contracts.
The Garrison Safety Office (GSO) earned the Safety Excellence Award streamer for having 12 consecutive months without a Class A or B accident two consecutive times. The GSO was once again rated “Best in Class” thru Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) as 1 in 6 across the Army.
The Protection Division of the Directorate of Operations (DoO) received a satisfactory rating from a Triennial Higher Headquarters Assessment for its protection programs and the reform of hiring practices within the Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department (PAFD). Members of the PAFD received a Humanitarian Service Medal for mutual aid/high water hurricane rescue.
Picatinny’s Public Relations and Service Culture initiatives were impressive in Fiscal Year 2022. The garrison supported multiple efforts from the Boy Scouts of America to assist in the completion of Eagle Scout projects. The Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department responded to 150 mutual aid requests and the installation’s Religious Support Office (RSO) collected and donated 869 pounds of non-perishable food items to a local food pantry.
The Directorate of Human Resources (DHR), in conjunction with the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), Sexual Harassment/Assault, Response & Prevention (SHARP) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), began a Mobile Support Services unit to increase accessibility and awareness to installation personnel for support services available throughout the garrison. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Office restructured their hours to meet the needs of both onsite and a remote workforce.
The business programs within Picatinny’s Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) continued to see significant growth (Aquatics, Golf, Recreational Lodging and Catering) exceeding the IMCOM business standard for profitability. FMWR also strategically executed an extensive marketing campaign to educate on-post residents about the Department of the Army Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) survey resulting in a 50 percent increased response rate. Picatinny, Middle Forge was designated an “A” List Award Winner of Army RCI Installation properties.
Perhaps more visible to the general public were the many quality of life, installation-wide events executed by FMWR such as; Halloween Spooktacular, bass and trout fishing tournaments, National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration, Fitness 5K Fun Runs, Month of the Military Child special events, Outdoor Recreation scuba trip in Puerto Rico and white water rafting trip in Maine, Family Canoe and Kayak Day, CYS Summer Sports and Fitness Camp, archery classes, wedding expos, golf leagues and outings, and numerous Frog Falls Aquatic Park special events.
Service excellence is a derivative of quality employees and leadership, and a byproduct of how leadership treats their own employees. That is why there is also a USAG Picatinny Leadership Pledge to those who serve within the organization. In that pledge, leaders “pledge to position garrison employees with success:
- an impactful on-boarding and orientation experience to welcome you to the Garrison team,
- clear performance standards; to include standards for performance excellence
- an Individual Development Plan, or IDP, developed with your supervisor; reviewed during periodic counseling,
- opportunities for personal growth and professional development,
- a recognition program to reward service and performance excellence,
- engaged leaders who seek and welcome your input and act to continuously improve the organization,
- an organization that embraces the concept of team, teamwork, and empowerment,
- a promise to hold ourselves, and each other, accountable.”
(Eric Kowal of the Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs Office contributed to this article.)