By Jim Hinnant, U.S. Army Forces Command Public AffairsSeptember 30, 2009
FORT McPHERSON, Ga. Aca,!" The Aca,!A"FlagAca,!A? Atrium was standing room only and the 2nd and 3rd floor overlook railings lined with U.S. Army Forces Command headquarters staff members as the FORSCOM G1 Base Realignment and Closure Team kicked off Aca,!A"RED Box DayAca,!A? here with a Community Town Hall meeting, Sept. 28, 2009.
FORSCOM's BRAC program manager Grant Steffan said the event was part of the command's continuing effort to ensure well-being by taking care of its people during the Base Realignment and Closure 2005-directed relocation of FORSCOM and U.S. Army Reserve Command Headquarters to Ft Bragg, N.C. The town hall built on previous town halls and on the BRAC Expo held here Sept. 23.
To begin the meeting, Troy E. (Gil) Gilleland, FORSCOMAca,!a,,cs deputy G1 and a member of the Senior Executive Service, framed the discussion by telling the nearly 200 Army civilian employees in the audience that all planning of the coming relocation reflected the FORSCOM commanding generalAca,!a,,cs BRAC imperatives of operational continuity of the commandAca,!a,,cs Army Force Generation mission, taking care of people, and retaining or recruiting a high-performing Army civilian workforce.
Employees listened intently as the BRAC planning team gave a construction update on the new combined FORSCOM and USARC headquarters project at Ft. Bragg, N.C., complete with recent photographs of the various sites that will be occupied in coming months as both commands depart here in advance of the Sept. 15, 2011 closure of Ft. McPherson.
Aca,!A"As a team we felt it important to bring all the stakeholders together in a group session,Aca,!A? said Larris Marks, FORSCOMAca,!a,,cs civilian human resources advisor for BRAC. Aca,!A"Getting information directly to our workforce, and hearing their questions and concerns minimizes uncertainty and makes everyone a part of the transition.
After the construction update, human resources representatives provided information to let employees know the decision points and actions each person will be required to take, beginning with the issuance of formal Transfer of Function letters, March 1, 2010. These letters are formal notification to each employee that their position is moving to Ft. Bragg.
Perhaps the highlight of the Town Hall event was the unveiling of the Relocation Information, Entitlements, and Decision Making Aca,!A"REDAca,!A? box filled with personnel pamphlets, decision-making brochures and maps of the Ft. Bragg area that each employee will receive to help them prepare for the stressful months ahead as each decides whether or not to make the move with the headquarters.
Aca,!A"The red box is an idea from the ArmyAca,!a,,cs Communication-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey,Aca,!A? said Diane Bennett, a FORSCOM human resources supervisor and RED box action officer. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs one way we can provide key information to our people and they can take it home to share with their families as they make career and life decisions.Aca,!A?
The Town Hall wrapped up with a question and answer session during which more than a dozen staff members asked questions about a host of topics, such as permanent change of station entitlements, relocation incentives and employment possibilities for spouses.
Most questions and concerns were answered on the spot, while the few that werenAca,!a,,ct will be researched and answers posted to the BRAC information section on the FORSCOM Share Point Portal (https://fcportal.forscom.army.mil/), said Marks.
Aca,!A"I think the town hall was very informative and different than previous meetings,Aca,!A? said Pat Padilla, a FORSCOM G1 strength management specialist. Aca,!A"Other town halls didnAca,!a,,ct really have much definitive information, this one had firm details, plus we could see the progress on the new building.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"The red box is very useful and puts all the resources in one place,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"But, I havenAca,!a,,ct decided if I am going to move to North Carolina yet.Aca,!A?
The next BRAC-related event here will be an Oct. 15, Relocation and Entitlements Seminar at The Commons Community and Golf Club, here. The seminar is primarily for Ft. McPherson and Ft. Gillem, Ga. Army civilian employees. For more information, employees should contact their directorate BRAC Integrated Process Action Team Representative, or Lou Smith at (404) 464-5577.