By Kari Hawkins, USAG RedstoneApril 16, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Even with management changes being made at the Installation Management Command level, Redstone Arsenal's Garrison remains at the top in terms of excellence in customer service, program offerings and employee performance.
And that's exactly where Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli and deputy Curtis Clark plan to keep the Arsenal's Garrison.
In a Garrison where the slogan is "Support First ... People Always," the vision is to be "the premier Garrison for customer service ... now and into the future!" and the mission is to "continuously provide superior installation operations support and quality of life to enable Team Redstone's mission success," Pastorelli and Clark both emphasized to employees that excellence is the accepted norm.
"Nothing has changed. Our vision remains the same. Our mission remains the same," Pastorelli said. "We are right on target. Even our strategic priorities (community engagement, customer support, work force development and transformation) haven't changed ... You are a national treasure with a one-of-a-kind mission."
"This is the premier Garrison in the U.S. Army ... (Garrison managers throughout the Army and Department of the Army officials as well as elected leaders) are recognizing we do good things here at Redstone Arsenal. We sort of set the pace. You guys are impressive," Clark said.
The two leaders' comments came during the morning session of the quarterly Garrison town hall meeting Thursday at the Officers and Civilians Club. A second Town Hall was held in the afternoon.
Pastorelli reviewed with his employees the recent visit of IMCOM commander Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, telling them the general left Redstone with "a greater appreciation" of an installation that is home to a predominant civilian and contractor work force. All Army Garrisons report to the IMCOM commander.
Garrison employees, he said, should ask the same questions that Lynch does every day. Those questions are: Are we doing things right' Are we doing the right things' What are we missing'
Pastorelli then went on to review management issues and changes during the recent quarter, including the restriction of overtime and the Garrison hiring freeze, lean processes, contract management reviews, reimbursables and the need to obtain approval on new missions. He also touched on the 4 million-plus square foot Enhanced Use Lease project - now known as Redstone Gateway - and plans for its July groundbreaking and move of Gate 9, issues pertaining to the expansion of Gate 7 at Martin and Zierdt roads, and the continual movement of government agencies and civilians due to BRAC 2005.
"We're not just strictly an Army post anymore. We're more of a federal installation and that's where we're going," he said.
In support of the growing Arsenal population, Pastorelli outlined several Garrison construction projects, including renovations to the Garrison headquarters building 4488, Civilian Wellness Center, Heiser Hall and Recreation Center/Community Activity Center; the new Overlook Conference Center; the expansion of the golf course; and the new Child Development Center on Mills Road. Many of these projects are managed by Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation.
"We've been the benefit of a lot of top down monies, especially where FMWR is concerned," he said. "There are a lot of great things going on around the Garrison."
Pastorelli also discussed the need for all Garrison employees to be safe, both in the workplace and in their personal lives, and emphasized the prohibition of cell phone usage and texting while driving on the Arsenal.
"I know you are thinking 'You are reminding me of what I already know.' But invariably someone in this room will be touched by tragedy because of a safety issue," he said. "And if you are caught texting or using your cell phone while driving, you and your supervisor will be asked to come see me in my office at 1700 hours (5 p.m.)."
The colonel also shared with employees the new IMCOM logo and slogan "We are the Army's home," saying the logo focuses on Soldier and civilian families, installation services and patriotism.
"It's not just about the safety and resiliency of the Soldier anymore," Pastorelli said. "It's also about the family. Are they resilient enough to operate on their own as their Soldier deploys time and time and time again' We are worried about the families ... and we've got to make sure we are taking care of our Soldiers and civilians."
In his comments, Clark emphasized the need for employee training. He commended employees for the success of the first-ever Garrison Training Week in early March, and announced two additional training weeks on Aug. 2-6 and Nov. 1-4.
"The bottom line is we believe in training," he said. "For our folks to be successful in their jobs, they've got to have the basics. But to continue to be successful, you need enhanced training."
He mentioned the Army's Communities of Excellence program, saying the Garrison must become a more active participant in this program.
"You guys are the number one Garrison, I know, in the Southeast region. My goal is to be the number one Garrison," he said. "The idea is we have to sell ourselves. We all need to participate. I know you're good. We know you're good. So let's put it on paper that we are the number one Garrison. You're doing good things. Let's let the Army know how good we are."
Clark also discussed the ongoing concerns with work force retention. The Garrison's excellence in performance is threatened by an aging work force at or near retirement age, the movement of employees to other job opportunities within the growing Redstone community and the limitations placed on the Garrison in terms of hiring freezes.
Despite these issues, Clark said "we are about excellence and that's what I expect."
The Garrison is relying on the added value of interns, co-op students and summer hires to build its work force, and the use of individual development plans and training to build new capabilities within its work force.
"My philosophy is you never stop learning. You always need to continue to learn about your profession," the deputy commander said.
He also mentioned employee attributes, including ethics, loyalty, respect, professional competency, team member participation and attitude, saying employees exhibiting such attributes and combining them with training are more promotable.
"Get the training you need to enhance your career," he urged.
In closing, Pastorelli emphasized the constant need for teamwork among Garrison employees and Arsenal tenant organizations.
"We've got to work together. We've got to be a team. We are not always going to get along. But be professional and when you're given a mission, you've got to do it," he said. "I want to make sure we take care of each other and our customers."