ASC G1 strives to put, ‘Mission First, People Always’

By Corinna Baltos, ASC Public AffairsApril 25, 2024

ASC G1 strives to put, ‘Mission First, People Always’
The U.S. Army Sustainment Command’s G1, or Human Resources, is responsible for handling all personnel matters for the Soldiers and Civilians who work at the headquarters. The office is divided into four divisions: Civilian Personnel, Military Personnel, Labor/Management Employee Relations, and Ready and Resilient (R2). (Photo Credit: Corinna Baltos) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – Every organization, whether it is private or government, has people working for it. Therefore, every organization needs a section that is dedicated to taking care of employees’ needs. In the U.S. Army this organization is called the G1, or personnel office.

According to the Army, the G1’s mission is to, “develop policies and programs that build personnel readiness for the Army’s greatest asset – people.” Personnel offices can be found at every level of the Army, from the company level to the Army as a whole.

At U.S. Army Sustainment Command, the G1 is known as Human Resources, and is headed by Jim Spencer, G1 director. He and his staff are responsible for delivering high quality, responsive, customer-focused human resource services to the command’s global workforce.

“Everything we do is tied to our ‘All Things People’ initiative, which is man, develop, manage, and sustain, (our workforce)” said Spencer.

ATP is an ASC program that encompasses the “Mission First, People Always,” moto that former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville stressed when he said, “When we care about people, we get them in the right jobs at the right time (and) that is how we win.” Even though McConville has retired, his moto still guides the Soldiers and Civilians who work at the G1 in everything they do.

The ASC G1 is divided into four divisions: Civilian Personnel, Military Personnel, Labor/Management Employee Relations, and Ready and Resilient (R2). These divisions perform all personnel related administrative functions for ASC headquarters, as well as serve as a liaison between management and employees to resolve or elevate any work-related issues.

Civilian Personnel Division

The Civilian Personnel Division is divided up into two branches, Recruitments, and Policy and Program Management.

The Recruitments branch is tasked with hiring qualified people to work at ASC. To do this the CPD follows the ATP initiative to man, develop, manage and sustain a ready and resilient military and Civilian workforce.

The G1 “mans” the workforce by ensuring that ASC hires the best quality people while maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. Once hired, the G1 strives to “develop” the workforce through leadership and professional training, and “sustain” the workforce by leveraging technology to maintain a healthy and safe organizational culture which enables the command to “manage” the 21st-century workforce.

Military Personnel Division

The Military Personnel Division provides support to Soldiers. It is divided up into two sections, Strength Management and Essential Personnel Services.

“The Strength Management branch coordinates with Army Human Resources Command to ensure vacant military personnel positions are filled,” said Tim England, ASC, Military Personnel Division chief.

Unlike Civilian personnel, Soldiers are usually assigned to ASC for a specific amount of time, usually two to three years.

Twice a year the MPD will submit a list to the Army’s HRC providing a detailed description of officer and warrant officer job vacancies, along with information about the unit as part of the Mission Essential Requirements Requisition cycles. “During the MER, each officer is given a list of assignments based on career progression and Army needs,” said Carlous Dawson, ASC Strength Management branch chief.

Once the officer has the available assignment list, they rate their assignments based on personal choice and interview with the units. After the interviews, the unit commander selects their top preference and submits it to HRC. Once the Soldier is on orders to come to ASC the Essential Personnel Services branch takes over to provide support.

That support ranges from maintaining a Soldier’s personnel records, processing evaluations, preparing promotion board files, updating contact information, and dependent status and assisting Soldiers as they leave military service through retirement or finishing their contract.

Labor/Management Employee Relations

Civilians may be included in a bargaining unit, and under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statue, be eligible for union membership, or be represented by a union if there is one at their organization. At ASC the person who serves as the “middleman” between employee and supervisor relations is called the ombudsman. Zachary Klann serves in this role at ASC.

One of the jobs of the ombudsman is in labor and employee relations.

Klann serves as the commanding general’s designated representative for labor relations in meetings with management, civilian personnel advisory centers, the Equal Employment Opportunity office, employees, and union officials.

As the CG’s representative, Klann acts a chief negotiator in collective bargaining and contract negations with union officials.

“When you have a unionized workforce there are a lot of rights to comply with (both) covered by law as well as by a negotiated agreement,” said Klann. “These could include actions that have to be taken before implementing a new policy, what meetings the union must be invited to attend, or what steps would be followed to adjust an employee’s hours of work.”

Another role that Klann and his team play is in sustaining the Civilian employee when issues arise. Some of these issues may be figuring out what to do when the employee is unable to or needs to cut back on working hours due to a lengthy illness, what to do when someone is alleged to be engaging in misconduct, addressing toxic leadership or a host of other issues.

When issues arise, Klann and his team try to resolve issues at the lowest level when possible. They were able to resolve 38 issues informally last year by providing each party with a chance to discuss their issue to determine if an understanding could be reached. Doing this is a win-win for everyone. “We are protecting the CG (commanding general) and saving (ASC) hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Klann.

He went on to say that the average cost of a formal EEO complaint to ASC, factoring in time, investigation cost and labor hours, is around $50,000. “Many people file formally because they feel like it is the only way to be heard,” said Klann, who added that an informal avenue can frequently resolve things faster and cheaper.

Ready and Resilient (R2)

Taking care of people is more than making sure their evaluations are processed or acting as an intermediary when disputes between employees and supervisors arise. It is taking care of the whole person. That is where ASC’s R2 Division steps in.

“The R2 mission is to enable and sustain a positive culture for our global workforce through education, resources and tools to ensure mission readiness and allow all personnel to reach their full potential,” said Meghan McAndrew, chief of the R2 Division.

“ASC’s R2 Division was stood up in 2015 to reinforce the command’s investment in creating a culture of wellbeing and to positively influence the readiness and resilience of the workforce,” McAndrew went on to say.

According to the Army Resilience directorate, “resilience drives personal readiness, and personal readiness relies on five dimensions, sometimes called the five pillars: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and family. Sustaining healthy behaviors within and across these dimensions is essential to personal readiness.”

The mission of the Army is to fight and win the nation’s wars. To do that the Army has to take care of the people that make up its force. The ASC G1 is taking care of people, so the mission can be accomplished.