Center for Initial Military Training Revamps Onboarding for Civilians and Soldiers

By Hunter Rhoades Center for Initial Military Training Public AffairsJune 5, 2023

The U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training’s newest Soldiers and civilians were lucky to be part of the first installment of the Personnel Reception and Education Preparation, or PREP, on May 25 at Fort Eustis.

PREP provides new personnel an understanding of the organization, on the macro and micro levels, so they can see how what they do fits into the overall mission and how their respective roles add value to the organization.

“Onboarding is our first impression with new employees, whether in or out of uniform, and we have to get it right,” said Col. Michael Jacobson, USACIMT Deputy Commander. “We are in a war for talent, and when we have talented individuals choosing to serve within our headquarters, we must prioritize setting them up for success.”

Maj. Gen. John Kline, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training Commander, Provides USACIMT Overview During Initial PREP Onboarding Program
Maj. Gen. John Kline, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training Commander, provides USACIMT overview during initial PREP onboarding program. (Photo Credit: Hunter Rhoades) VIEW ORIGINAL

Jacobson added that a key part to CIMT’s core mission of transforming civilian volunteers to Soldiers is providing a strong first impression with new recruits, so it made sense to do the same with new staff.

“We are excited to provide the level of professionalism given to the Army’s newest Soldiers will be shared with the people within our Headquarters,” said Jacobson.

Angela Hunter, a Senior Human Resources Analyst with the CIMT G1, was tasked to lead CIMT’s new onboarding initiative.

“Working in the G-1 and this headquarters, our main priority is taking care of people”, said Hunter. “When Maj. Gen. Kline identified me to lead this effort, I was all in, as I knew that this program would go a long way toward enhancing our onboarding and acculturation processes by providing our new employees a great first impression through senior leader engagement and education.

As the summer months approach and the PCS season begins, the command expects to see a number of new faces in the headquarters. This first PREP iteration provided an opportunity to test the course with a small group of new arrivals and hone in on ways to improve.

USACIMT Headquarters Revamps Onboarding or Civilians and Soldiers
USACIMT Headquarters Revamps Onboarding or Civilians and Soldiers with the new Personnel Reception and Education Preparation. (Photo Credit: Hunter Rhoades) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Working through our initial course iteration, I am excited to gather the feedback and learn ways to continue improving our process,” stated Hunter.

Natarsha Webb, a new civilian hire in the command’s G-1 section, said the PREP iteration helped her better understand the organization’s mission.

“Coming to a new organization is always a little different,” said Webb. “I think going through an introductory program where you get to learn from the leaders within the organization was really beneficial to start putting the pieces together.”

Staff Sgt. Calah Kotey, the command’s new Chaplain Assistant, agree.

“This is my fifth PCS since joining the Army, so I’ve gotten used to different onboarding practices”, said Kotey. “Getting to sit down and learn the organization before getting to work really helped me start to understand where our responsibilities stopped and started.”

Jacobson said they are always looking to improve the organization, and the feedback from the first PREP iteration were positive.

“Our G-1 staff is filled with passionate and knowledgeable individuals who created a fully immersive experience for our newest teammates”, said Jacobson. “The consensus was that this style of onboarding is widely beneficial.”

For individuals joining the USACIMT team, please visit to get a jump start on your onboarding process!