SAN ANTONIO - Hundreds of garrison and headquarter-level employees from the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command recently participated in professional development sessions at the 2011 Installation Management Command Symposium in San Antonio, Texas.

From April 19 through April 21, participants chose from more than 135 sessions covering the entire spectrum of Family and MWR programs and services. Courses ranged from "Interactive Design" for marketing professionals to "Fiscal Responsibility" for garrison directors of Family and MWR. Nearly 100 sessions led by IMCOM were also made available to MWR employees.

"It was fascinating to hear some of my peers at the garrisons discuss what they do and how they make decisions supporting the troops," said George Brezny of the FMWRC Marketing Directorate.

According to symposium organizers, there were specific tracks participants could follow, but part of the benefit of hosting the symposiums together was creating an opportunity for cross training.

"Those who choose to can really take advantage by visiting sessions outside of their lane to get a bigger picture of IMCOM and FMWRC as a whole," said J.C. Abney, Deputy to the Commander for FMWRC. "It's about crossing skill levels and boundaries for professional development."

The FMWRC sessions were held in conjunction with the IMCOM symposium to create synergy and create cost efficiencies. According to Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Commanding General of IMCOM and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, by combining the symposiums for IMCOM, FMWRC and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, the Army saved half a million dollars.

One consistent theme through the course of various symposium topics was the importance of reinforcing a cost culture mindset in order to make efficient and sustainable decisions moving forward.

According to the 2011 IMCOM campaign plan, a cost culture mindset is essential for the Installation Management Community in making efficient and sustainable decisions in support of the Army's overall strategic goals and objectives.

Other priorities of the Installation Management Community, as outlined in the campaign plan, include accelerating actions to protect the environment; conserving energy, water and other resources; and supporting human capital. Ultimately, the Installation Management Command says these actions will result in increased military readiness, lower life-cycle costs, and improved quality of life for Soldiers and their Families.