By Walter T. Ham IV, Eighth Army Public AffairsNovember 28, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (Nov. 28, 2012) -- The U.S. Army has refined its personnel policies to retain and promote its strongest Soldiers, according to the commander of Human Resources Command.
Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mustion, the commanding general of the Fort Knox, Ky.-based Human Resources Command, discussed Army personnel policies during a visit to South Korea, Nov. 28.
Accompanied by the HRC Command Sgt. Maj. Bruce Lee and team from HRC headquarters, Mustion is on a tour of the Korean Peninsula, including stops at Camp Casey in Donducheon, Camp Henry in Daegu, Camp Humphreys in Pyeontaek and Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, the current headquarters for U.S. forces in Korea.
Human Resource Command enlisted and officer teams are also briefing Soldiers around the Korean Peninsula on changes to personnel policy.
The general said the U.S. Army has implemented policies to ensure it keeps its strongest Soldiers and leaders in uniform.
"We know the Army is going to downsize over the next five years," said Mustion, "and we will work very diligently to make sure we retain the very best officers in the Army and noncommissioned officers as we move the Army forward into the future.
"The changes that we've implemented in our Army, whether it's the way we're doing leader development in our Army, whether its evaluation reports, if it's some of the assignment processes, are all designed to build a broader and more capable Army," said Mustion, a native of Waynesville, Mo., who commissioned into the Army Adjutant General's Corps in 1981.
Mustion said the U.S. Army was a more capable force today following 10 years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mustion said the Army "has a tremendous force of combat-seasoned and experienced Soldiers and leaders who performed incredibly well over the last 10 years. That's benefiting our Army and making us an even more capable and more trained and more ready Army as we move into the future."
Mustion said promotion opportunities for officers will be more competitive in the future, while promotion opportunities for NCOs will remain about the same.
"What I would tell every Soldier -- officer, noncommissioned officer or junior Solider -- is to make sure that they put their best foot forward and their best face forward as they go before these promotion boards," said Mustion.
To prepare for boards, the general said Soldiers should take the time to make sure their records are accurate and current.
The HRC visit helped to reinforce Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson's efforts to attract the Army's strongest Soldiers to assignments in Korea.
As a part of the U.S. military's pivot to the Pacific, Mustion said the U.S. Army personnel community was working to "put measures in place to further improve the readiness of forces here in Korea."
While the total number of U.S. Soldiers in Korea has not changed, Mustion said, "We've been more precise in getting noncommissioned officers and officers over here with the seasoned experience that they've gained to increase the readiness of Korea."
Even with the high number of one-year unaccompanied tours to Korea, Mustion said the Army is using command sponsorship and Assignment Incentive Pay to create greater continuity in the ranks.
The general said the average American Soldier is assigned to South Korea for 17 months.
Mustion, who served in South Korea as the commander of 8th Personnel Command and Adjutant General for Eighth Army from 2004 to 2006, said there has been a significant increase in the commitment to readiness and quality of life.
Mustion said the biggest change in Korea has been "the investments the Army has made in improving the quality of life and at same time continuing to keep focus on the readiness and the mission that we have here on the peninsula."