WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 2, 2010) -- Two Soldiers with ceremonial rifles flanked three others, each carrying a flag important to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command: the American flag, the Army flag and a third, covered flag.

That olive-drab sheath had protected the HRC colors on its journey from its former headquarters in Alexandria, Va., to its new home at Fort Knox, Ky.

As a result of the base realignment and closure process, HRC has moved into the Human Resource Center of Excellence in the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex. The uncasing of the colors ceremony, June 25, symbolized the start of operations in a new location.

HRC commander Maj. Gen. Sean J. Byrne and Command Sgt. Maj. John F. Gathers took their places on each side of the sheathed flag. The cased flag was lowered parallel to the pavement and they solemnly slid off the casing. Byrne and Gathers unfurled the gold-and-blue HRC command flag and the honor guard Soldier slowly raised it again.

Then, the HRC commander addressed the audience.

"We at HRC are the first functional command to completely move from multiple locations to a new home," Byrne said. "This nearly 900,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility is the largest office building in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and will be a great readiness multiplier."

Having all HRC elements in one location will allow the U.S. Army Human Resources Command to more efficiently provide life-cycle career management to America's Soldiers.

The transition to the new facility, however, has not been easy, the general said. Plans for HRC's new home had to be developed. HRC directorates and offices were spurred on to transform themselves by integrating their functions. Numerous challenges had to be met head on: construction was delayed because the site had to be cleared of World War I munitions. HRC leaders had to update and modify their strategic automation programs (software and hardware). HRC is now building a new work force, combining employees from the three original HRC locations (Alexandria, Va., Indianapolis, and St. Louis) with nearly 2,000 new employees who must be hired and trained.

"I am very proud of the individuals and extraordinary team effort that have made this move so seamless to those outside of HRC," Byrne said. "As part of the congressionally-directed base realignment and closure movement, we became not only a command at war and in transition, but a command in the throes of change, and all were changes for the good."

Those changes were designed to incorporate the best of what HRC did with the potential to make it better," the HRC commander said.

This BRAC move is more than just people and equipment moving into a new facility, Byrne said. "Our lineage, history, purpose, and mission have moved. We are now a key part of the Human Resources Center of Excellence. We are now truly organized to support the Army - active duty and Reserve." he said. "This is all about people... the people we support, the people in our organization, the people coming into and leaving our organization, and the people who make up our Army. All actions will be to standard ... those we support deserve nothing less."