FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - We often use the word "finite" to describe limited resources, but living on an island really brings the word into focus.

Here on Oahu, unlike on a large continent, we can actually see our limited amounts of land, forests and vital infrastructure. That perspective brings home our responsibilities to care and protect this beautiful paradise - now and for future generations.

The need to balance resources for our missions, communities and environment is not a new issue, nor is balancing these critical considerations only experienced by people in Hawaii, but our island perspective gives it real meaning.

Units and garrisons Armywide recognize the need to embrace a culture of sustainability - providing the means to accomplish today's missions, while aligning resources and infrastructure to accomplish missions and protect the environment in the future.

The Army's senior leaders recognize the importance of embracing this culture and are pledging their support. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, and Dr. Joseph Westphal, undersecretary of the Army, recently confirmed that sustainability is an effective tool for meeting operational requirements, while at the same time improving quality of life, maintaining infrastructure and reducing the burden on the natural and manmade systems on which we depend.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, and Debra Zedalis, region director, Installation Management Command-Pacific, are jointly committed to energy conservation efforts throughout the Pacific theater. They have issued a policy outlining actions that units and garrisons should take to ensure energy resources are used effectively and meet federal energy-reduction mandates.

Sustainability is critical with Hawaii's finite resources, especially evident in our limited energy and water capabilities on the islands. An important responsibility in my role as commanding general, U.S. Army-Hawaii, is working with U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii to establish a clear strategy that addresses the risks of power supply disruption and decreased water availability, and how to mitigate incidents that could threaten our operations and communities.

We are accountable for the consumption and conservation of energy and water resources as laid out by the Army Energy Security Implementation Strategy. Through training, awareness and collaborative implementation of energy and water conservation practices, we can create an energy and water-conscious culture.

The Army's success on the battlefield goes hand-in-hand with its success in training. By adopting a culture of sustainability and reducing our consumption imprint, we'll be able to fulfill our training requirements for years to come.

Money and resources saved by changing our ways immediately can be used for other critical requirements in the future. We must train and operate with an eye to the future.

One example is the garrison's environmental staffs, who work tirelessly to preserve Hawaii's natural and cultural resources. Their efforts in nurturing endangered plants and species, and protecting archaeological and anthropological artifacts, will help ensure that future generations know these treasures in their lifetimes, and benefit from the actions we're taking today.

I ask each of you to take a look at how you're operating, both at work and at home. Are you doing everything you can to conserve energy and preserve the environment'

Need some tips' Talk to your unit's energy manager. Learn how units and offices across Hawaii are "going green" by reading the stories in this insert. Check out the resources listed here and discuss them with your co-workers and families. And remember ...

"Army Green is Army Strong!"

A copy of policies affecting U.S. Army-Hawaii can be found online at Click the link for "Command Policies" on the left.

(Editor's Note: This article appeared in the Hawaii Army Weekly's Oct. 22 special insert on sustainability. Click here to view the entire 8-page feature.)