|By Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Installation Management
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In recent years, the Army and its installations
have enjoyed unprecedented levels of funding. In fiscal year (FY) 2008,
the Army hit a high-water mark in its fiscal history with a total annual
budget exceeding $250 billion — three times more than the FY 2001
Much of this growth is attributed to funding the war, rebalancing our
Army through investments in Army’s force structure, equipment,
infrastructure, and key Soldier and family programs.
Funding levels of this magnitude are unsustainable year after year, and
as the country faces some stiff economic challenges, we are forced to
reduce funding and exact a greater level of stewardship over our
The Installation Management Command — like other commands throughout our
Army — will operate at reduced funding levels. This means that starting
in 2010, performance levels for some installation services will be
notably less than what we have had in recent years and will remain at
that level for the foreseeable future.
Our challenge is to ensure those key, higher priority programs across
our installations do not suffer. We will maintain our full support to
Life, Health and Safety programs, the Army Family Covenant and those
services that prepare our Soldiers and their families for deployment in
support of the Army’s Force Generation model. These are non-negotiables
that will remain fully funded. This is our commitment; we will not
depart from it. However, there will be other installation services that
will clearly be reduced.
We have grown accustomed to some very high levels of service across the
board in recent years and we all need to be forthcoming with the
expectation that things will be different in some areas. Help manage
this expectation across your garrisons. Educate everyone as to which
changes they can expect to see. A simple explanation can go a long way
to helping understand the changes some of our installation services will
Across the Army’s installations, we can do much to help ourselves by
becoming better stewards of our resources. It starts with the
individual; everybody has a role. Simple things like turning the lights
off, powering down your computer at night, driving tactical vehicles
instead of Transportation Motor Pool vehicles or conducting a video
teleconference instead of traveling to a distant site unnecessarily all
save money — and no savings is too small to forego.
Commanders and leaders across the installation have a key role and are
responsible for the efficient use of our resources. Costs should be an
inherent consideration in your every decision. We too often marginalize
this key factor in making good, resource-informed decisions but we can
no longer afford to do so.
As I travel throughout the Army community, I carry the message that we
can do business smarter and more efficiently without sacrificing the
quality of service that our Soldiers and their families so richly
I challenge everyone to do the same: to work together to ensure that
those key installation programs that mean so much are well resourced and
operated; that we do away with wasteful and unnecessary spending.
Every person — whether you are a Soldier, family member, one of our
great Department of the Army civilians or a contractor serving our Army
— is needed and can make a difference.
Ask yourself if you are doing the right things and then, are you doing
them right. Doing things right means doing them in the most cost-
efficient way without sacrificing effectiveness.
(Lynch is the Installation Management Command commander and the
Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.)