REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Nov. 16, 2012) -- "We could never be the Army that we are -- not today, not yesterday -- without the civilian workforce that we have," began Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal at a town hall meeting with Army Materiel Command employees here, Nov. 14.

AMC is the largest civilian organization in the Army; 96 percent of the 73,000 employees are civilian.

Westphal visited Space and Missile Defense Command, Army Materiel Command, known as AMC, and Program Executive Office-Missiles and Space to meet with leaders, Soldiers and civilians of each command.

During his time at AMC, Westphal addressed the headquarters staff with a few remarks and a short question and answer session.

"I want to make sure that you understand that when those of us in Washington are sitting in our forums looking at issues at a very macro-level, we are very concerned to make sure that we all understand the value civilians bring to the workforce, to the Army, defense, our security and country," he said. "Our future as a country is very dependent on your ability to continue to serve our communities and nation."

A key opportunity for the civilian workforce is ensuring future professional development, which Westphal addressed.

"We need to invest in our civilian workforce," Westphal said. "We need to invest in your development, your professional development. We need to ensure that the jobs that you have and the responsibilities you hold are understood, so that you can deliver a better service to our country."

He also assured the workforce to remain positive about the future despite the uncertainty surrounding the budget.

"You have leaders on your side that are truly doing their best to understand the dynamics of the decisions we will have to be making over the next three to six months," he said.

Westphal said the Army has a lot of work ahead of it, but he still feels positive about the future -- looking at the glass half full instead of empty.

"We've got really good leaders today. We may not be the most talented or the smartest, but we are working together," Westphal said.

He concluded, "Thank you for all you do. I really do believe deeply in public service."