|By Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Commanding General,
Installation Management Command
Like many others this time of
year, I have been reflecting on the past 12 months and looking forward
to the new year. In my professional capacity, I am focusing on the
future of the Installation Management Community. Specifically, what
should the Installation Management Community look like a year from now?
I have been asking this question of Installation Management personnel
during meetings, town halls, and garrison visits. After all, the
dedicated professionals at the garrisons and headquarters are doing the
work on a daily basis; they know what it takes to deliver the
facilities, programs and services that support our Soldiers and
I also have been seeking feedback from Soldiers, Families and leaders
through a number of avenues, including installation visits, the Family
Forums at the Association of the United States Army annual conference,
the Army Community Service focus groups I recently held, and the Army
Family Survey. This feedback is critical because everything we do is
focused on providing Soldiers and Families the programs, services and
facilities that support their well-being, resilience and readiness. We
need to know where we are on target and where we are missing the mark.
I urge everyone — Installation Management personnel, Soldiers, Family
members, leaders — to continue to send me solid ideas that help answer
the three fundamental questions: Are we doing the right things? Are we
doing things right? What are we missing?
The point of asking for input from so many different people is to build
a shared vision of where we are going in the next year. I am meeting
with senior Installation Management Community leaders this month to
develop that vision based on all of this input. The shared vision will
enable us to begin with the end in mind.
Once we have a shared vision of what right looks like, we can figure out
how to get there from here. We can eliminate random activities and focus
all our efforts on the initiatives that will have the greatest impact on
Soldiers, Civilians and Family members.
We started 2010 by producing version one of the Installation Management
Community’s Campaign Plan. The Campaign Plan laid out a vision, strategy
and way ahead for providing the programs, services and facilities that
support Soldiers and Families. With the Campaign Plan and the three
fundamental questions as our guides, we have continually challenged
ourselves to improve our performance.
Some of our efforts are visible to those we serve. For example, based on
feedback from Soldiers and Families, we have enhanced delivery of
several vital programs, including the Exceptional Family Member Program,
Survivor Outreach Services, the Total Army Sponsorship Program, the Army
Substance Abuse Program and the Army Continuing Education System.
Many of our efforts will not be immediately apparent to those outside of
our work force. For example, we are reducing the number of
administrative regions from six to four and integrating the Family and
Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command into Installation Management
Command Headquarters. Soldiers and Families will see no difference in
the quality of support or number of services they receive, but behind
the scenes, we will be working smarter. We will streamline delivery of
services to our customers and generate savings that can be applied to
Soldier and Family programs.
Now, as we build a shared vision of what the Installation Management
Community should look like in November 2011 and lay out the plan to
achieve that vision, we will continue to challenge ourselves to go
beyond what we already know and are comfortable with. We will continue
to look at the shape and size of our organization and work force. We
will continue to reach out and build relationships with others committed
to supporting Soldiers and Families, including universities, businesses,
non-government organizations, and other government agencies. We will
continue to identify, develop and align the resources, policies and
processes needed to support Family programs, safety, sustainability,
energy security and other priorities.
The process of developing a shared vision can be difficult for some,
since it carries the possibility of change, but it also can be
energizing, and it is important for us to do if we take our jobs
seriously. For one, we owe it to our fellow citizens to be good stewards
of all the resources entrusted to us. We always have to be mindful of
how we impact the environment, how we treat our people and how we spend
taxpayer dollars. If we do our job well, if we are good stewards of the
resources entrusted to us today, then we will have the resources we need
in the future.
An even more-important reason is the Soldiers and Families we support.
We are committed to providing a strong, supportive environment in which
they can thrive.
We do not chase change for change’s sake, but if the only reason we do
something is because we always have done it that way, then we can do
We owe it to our Soldiers and Families to ask what right looks like and
to make sure we are on track to get there.