PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Sgt. Maj. Larry H. Orvis Jr., U.S. Army Inspector General Sergeant Major, visited Picatinny Arsenal on March 9 as part of the inaugural offering in a series of leadership presentations that will be held by the Picatinny garrison command team.
Orvis, who has 28-years in the Army, visited from the Pentagon, and is part of the Department of the Army Inspector General’s (DAIG) office headed by Lt. Gen. Donna W. Martin.
The mission of the DAIG office is to provide impartial, objective, and unbiased advice and oversight to the Army through relevant, timely, and thorough inspections, assistance, investigations, and training. These activities are designed to promote and enable stewardship, accountability, integrity, efficiency, good order, and discipline, as well as enhance total Army readiness.
Historically, leadership doctrine has been focused on military leaders, and has led to a misunderstanding of the roles that all leaders play in the U.S. Army. The focus of the leadership series is for civilian employees to obtain a better understanding of their roles and how to better serve their team and mission.
Orvis held an open-session to ask questions of the participants, and offered his extensive leadership experience.
The sergeant major discussed the changes in Army doctrine as well as the requirements for all leaders under 10 USC 7033, AR 600-20 (Army Command Policy), and AR 600-100 (Army Profession and Leadership Policy).
Of special interest was the topic of ‘Servant Leadership’ and how that plays a role in effective units/organizations and squads.
The Army Command Policy details how commanders are responsible for everything their command does or fails to do. However, commanders subdivide responsibility and authority, and assign portions of both to various subordinate commanders and staff members. This is where the servant leadership style comes into play.
“Anyone wanting to be the leader, must first serve,” Orvis told the group. By serve, Orvis did not necessarily mean serve in the military, but serve in the sense of having walked in the shoes of those you are expecting to follow you.
Orvis said that servant leadership style includes putting the needs of others first, and helping people develop and perform at the highest level possible. This process is ingrained in Army culture and within the non-commissioned officer corps.
The Army Profession and Leadership Policy points out that all Army leaders are responsible for personal acceptance of the Army ethic, and for instilling in subordinates the values that comprise it.
Another topic was the “My Squad” approach, which encompasses all the attributes of “People First” as well as inspiring a culture of trust.
“This is My Squad” is a leadership philosophy to cultivate a culture of care, pride and ownership in small units across the Total Army.
“All Soldiers and Families have a squad they can be proud of,” Orvis told the Picatinny workforce.
The sergeant major then closed the presentation with a famous quote from Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and a four-star general.
“Leadership is solving problems. The day Soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you’ve stopped leading.”
Michael Tracy, a plans specialist in the Picatinny Arsenal garrison, who previously was enlisted in the Army and served with Orvis, helped facilitate the leadership event.
"Having a seasoned leader such as Sgt. Maj. Orvis, who continues to do what leaders do, mentor and inspire, was fantastic and the event was very successful,” Tracy said. “I contacted Sgt. Maj. Orvis (to kick off the leadership series) because he is my mentor and I knew that he would enjoy teaching others and sharing his knowledge,” he said.
The leadership series will continue with famed entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in April. He will be followed by John Krickus, Morris County Board of Commissioners, and Mayor Mike Stanzilis, Mayor of Mt. Arlington in the coming months.