By U.S. Army Recruiting CommandDecember 5, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2011) -- In support of the command's ongoing Pinnacle transformation initiatives, U.S. Army Recruiting Command Commanding General Maj. Gen. David L. Mann has directed implementation of Small Unit Recruiting operations across the command.
"Small Unit Recruiting focuses on teamwork and leader development," Mann said during an Oct. 31 video teleconference, or VTC, with brigade commanders, "and continues the evolution of recruiting operations from a focus on individual achievement to command emphasis on what the Army is all about -- teamwork."
The intent is for everyone in a recruiting station to work as a team to achieve common objectives. The previous practice of assigning monthly missions to individual recruiters has at times inhibited teamwork within a station.
"Small Unit Recruiting is about giving NCOs (noncommissioned officers) flexible roles and responsibilities within a station and empowering station commanders to lead their teams," Mann continued.
During the VTC, Col. George Sarabia, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, or USAREC, G5, said Small Unit Recruiting is an intermediate objective on the road to Pinnacle.
"Under the original timeline, individual battalions would sequentially transform to Pinnacle at some point between FY (fiscal year) 11 and FY 15," Sarabia briefed. "The revised plan makes the transformation to Small Unit Recruiting operations the decisive effort in FY 12. All other activities supporting Pinnacle transformation efforts, such as building new recruiting centers or fielding new technologies, are shaping operations that will continue beyond FY 12.
"We found that the original Pinnacle timeline inhibited change, as battalions awaited their turn to transform to Pinnacle. We do not want issues beyond our control, such as resource constraints, to prevent us from leveraging USAREC's greatest asset: its leaders. Pinnacle remains the end state; Small Unit Recruiting gets after how we conduct operations inside a recruiting station now."
Mann emphasized USAREC's past accomplishments in maintaining the all-volunteer force for the nation, to include more than a decade of recruiting in support of ongoing combat operations.
"We are not telling people the way they've done business in the past was wrong. That's simply not the case," Mann said. "Small Unit Recruiting is more of a philosophical change in the way we conduct daily operations. Most important to me is the mindset change in how we get after the missions -- working as a small unit versus the way we've done it in the past. We must also ensure all the processes we have in place truly embrace this mindset change."
The USAREC Small Unit Recruiting Concept Paper encapsulates the commanding general's message: "We have already transformed our recognition program to reward team effort, but we have not achieved the desired end state. Recruiting is a team process. Soldiers will remain accountable for conducting themselves professionally and maintaining standards of conduct."
The newly revised USAREC Manuals 3-01: The Recruiter Handbook and 3-06: Recruiting Operations incorporate Small Unit Recruiting operations into doctrine.
During the VTC with brigade commanders, Mann said he views the transformation of recruiting operations as an evolutionary process and emphasized the importance of leaders communicating the need for change at every level of the command.
"This transformation is about continually refining and improving recruiting processes and working collaboratively to make the entire command more efficient," Mann said. "We are going to operate like the rest of the Army. We are going to operate as teams and leverage folks' skills. Every member of the team should have an appreciation for every aspect of the recruiting process.
"First-line leaders must be empowered to employ every member of the team according to their individual strengths and talents. All assigned Soldiers will be cross-trained in all recruiting functions to ensure the station commander has the flexibility to maneuver his or her Soldiers as required by the mission, the environment and the time available."
USAREC Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Moore emphasizes the leadership aspects of Small Unit Recruiting when he talks with Soldiers.
"It is all about leadership," Moore said. "Small Unit Recruiting harnesses practices used by our most successful commanders. Station commanders are in charge. They are responsible for employing their forces to optimize results. Station commanders must know their Soldiers' strengths and weaknesses and their area of operations."
Leaders at higher echelons must train, coach, teach and mentor station commanders as the command implements Small Unit Recruiting.
"Small unit leadership is all about employing leaders at the lowest levels to develop their plans based on the next higher commander's guidance/intent, and implement and execute with passion," Moore said. "The smartest folks in our formations are the newest and youngest NCOs. Senior leaders must empower them."
Sarabia emphasized the pivotal role commanders at all levels will play as USAREC continues its march toward Pinnacle.
"First and foremost, leaders at all levels will drive the command's transformation efforts," Sarabia said. "Communicating the need for change at each echelon is vital if we are to achieve the buy-in required to truly transform the command. Recruiting operations are a team sport, just like any other Army operation."
Sarabia also emphasized the need for input from the field.
"We are working closely with brigade chiefs of staff to ensure we incorporate bottom-up refinement to the plan as we move forward," he said.
The headquarters staff will continue working closely with brigade staffs in developing the implementation plan through the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 12. The operations order is due for release in April 2012.