The following is an article I wrote that was published in the Spring 2013 Edition of the 1775. The Journal of the Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association. The Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Associaton (AGCRA) is the U.S. Army equilavent of SHRM. I am posting this article on my blog in an attempt to show everyone who does HR in the business world a small picture of how HR operates in the U.S. Army.
When the HQs of the 42D Military Police Brigade was notified of our deployment orders to be the Brigade HQ element for TF Protector, we knew it would be an interesting and difficult mission set. As the Brigade HQ element for TF Protector we would be responsible for detainee operations at the Detainee Facility at Parwan (DFIP) operating in a Combined Joint Interagency environment. As the TF Protector S1 we were responsible for the HR support of two subordinate Reserve Battalions, one subordinate Navy Trident, one separate active duty HHC and one separate NG Company comprised of over 1500 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Civilians in support of the DFIP.
We were also responsible for timely and accurate Human Resources support to a population of over 3,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Civilians operating in a Combined Joint Interagency Task Force environment partnered with their Afghan coalition partners. The TF S1 was also given the mission of peer level mentorship to the ANA MP BDE G1 in full spectrum Human Resources operations with a focus on the role of the ANA MP BDE G1 in the transition of the DFIP to Afghan control.
Upon our arrival, the TF S1 had several personnel tasked out for various missions. Our HR Technician, WO1 Williams was tasked to perform S1 related duties for the Brigade Assessment Team. (BAT) The BAT was the Task Force Commander’s embedded team with the ANA MP Brigade. The BAT provided daily peer level mentorship to the ANA MP BDE staff and ANA BDE Command Group. Missions that WO1 Williams performed included the following: International Red Cross (ICRC) liaison between the ICRC, ANA MP BDE and TF Protector, Face to Face (F2F) was the conduit between detainee Family members, detainees, ICRC and TF Protector in ensuring detainees were able to see their Family members.
WO1 Williams also conducted Strength Management training for the ANA G1. This included updating their daily PERSTAT, providing a historical analysis of their previous PERSTATS to include AWOL rates. He also took an active role in making required changes to their Tashkil (MTOE). WO1 Williams was also responsible for providing weekly briefings to the General Officer leadership of the ANA on a myriad of topics. To include the Commander’s Unit Assessment Tool (CUAT) and personnel manning requirements. Because of these duties and others, WO1 Williams had a limited role in the day to day operations of the TF S1.
SPC Irizarry was tasked to perform duties in the TDRC (Theater Detainee Reporting Center). The TDRC fell under the purview of the TF S3. She was responsible for updating detainee records that were sent to the Pentagon. SPC Irizarry was responsible for processing, researching and archiving detainee records in support of overseas contingency operations and the National Detainee Reporting Center (NDRC), Washington, DC. She was responsible for completing weekly Juvenile and Third Country National reports that were needed by Combined Joint Interagency Task Force (CJIATF) 435 and the National Detainee Record Center (NDRC).
SPC Stredick was tasked as the TF Protector Mail Clerk. SPC Stredick was responsible for managing the daily operations of the Task Force Consolidated Mailroom that consisted of 10 separate companies and averaged over 200 packages a day for pick-up and distribution. SPC Stredick simultaneously served as the HHC, 42D MP BDE Primary Mail Clerk. He ensured that every Soldier who had mail received a notification email and posted a by-name roster outside of the mailroom daily. Mid-way through the rotation, SPC Stredick was replaced by PV2 Schroeder as the TF Protector Mail Clerk. Both Soldiers built a great relationship with the Bagram Army Post Office and provided first class postal support to the residents of Camp Sabalu-Harrison.
One challenge of this mission was the almost monthly rotation of units in and out of TF Protector. We had to track all outbound and inbound Force Tracking Numbers (FTNs) to ensure we made accurate projections for all awards and evaluations. By having a monthly rotation of units in and out of TF Protecor, this allowed us to maintain a solid battle rhythm for awards and evals. Because of the Task Organization of Camp Sabalu-Harrison, this provided a challenge in the delivery of HR support to the residents of Camp Sabalu-Harrison. Various units, received various levels of HR support from TF Protector S1.
At first, it was a challenge to figure out which units received which HR support from us. But once we did, we set up systems and processes to provide the best HR support possible. At the beginning of our deployment we conducted S1 Staff Assistance Visits (SAVs) to ascertain the level of HR support required to all subordinate S1s on Camp Sabalu-Harrison. This allowed us to provide focused HR support and assistance to the personnel of Camp Sabalu-Harrison.
Upon the beginning of our deployment, we established 24 hour S1 operations IOT provide the best level of customer service possible. However, after the first 30 days, we reassessed our operating hours based upon our customer service statistics. Based upon these we changed our hours to be open from 0730 to 0130 on a daily basis. At the 2/3Ds part of our deployment we changed our customer service hours to 0800 to 2000. As our customer service statistics showed we had minimal if no customers after those hours.
Along with the S1 SAVs, we also implemented the TF Protector S1 of the month. Based upon a preestablished set of HR Metrics for each subordinate S1, we awarded a BDE certificate of appreciation to the TF Protector S1 of the month. This helped to raise awareness of the vital mission each S1 has for their unit and to bring a sense of competition to the subordinate S1s.
We also conducted weekly S1 Sync meetings with all of the subordinate S1s. This gave all S1s an opportunity to ensure that all HR support was in sync across all commands. This allowed for any questions to be asked and answered of all S1 personnel in a non threatening environment. During these S1 Sync meetings a class was given each week on a variety of S1 subjects. These classes included, EMILPO, RLAS, Awards processing, Navy evaluations, IPPS-A and National Guard retirement. The objective of the weekly classes was to provide everyone an overview of how the different services and branches conducted HR support for their units.
We also established monthly Postal and Finance Rodeos for the residents of Camp Sabalu-Harrison. As the majority of residents on Camp Sabalu-Harrison work split shifts or swing shifts, it was difficult for them to make it to the Main APO and Finance Company on Bagram. It was a significant help to have these services provided to all personnel on Camp Sabalu-Harrison.
As part of providing the best customer service possible we came up with a monthly customer service statistics laydown for the TF Command Group. This showed the Command Group how we were able to focus HR support to the specific hours we had the most customers based upon the required HR support requested.
The TF S1 was tasked with providing peer level partnership with the ANA G1. As the TF S1, myself and the TF S1 representative to the BAT, WO1 Williams conducted regular visits to the ANA G1 on the ANA LSA. We provided assistance on PERSTAT procedures, Tashkill updates and various other methods of improving the HR support of the ANA G1 to the ANA MP BDE. WO1 Williams was also responsible for validating all change documents for both personnel and equipment on their Tashkil (MTOE). This greatly improved the capacity of the ANA BDE as they would now be resourced with the required personnel and equipment to successfully accomplish their mission.
As part of this partnership with the ANA G1, we hosted an AG volleyball tournament. All TF S1s participated along with two teams from the ANA G1. This was a fun filled tournament that allowed all teams to compete with their peers. It also enabled us to learn about each other in a non work environment. Both ANA G1 teams dominated the competition and the two ANA G1 teams played each other for the championship.
As the TF S1, I was required to provide weekly input to the TF Protector Transition Working Group, along with weekly assessments of the ANA G1. This input enabled the TF Commander to make timely and accurate decisions on the level of the ANA G1s capability as it related to the transition of the DFIP.
This was a very challenging and rewarding mission for the TF Protector S1 and one that we can all take pride in that we successfully met all challenges of this mission. Because of the outstanding service to the AG community during their deployment the following personnel were awarded the AGCRA Achievement Medal. 2LT Ann Bradley, WO1 Marcus Williams, SSG San’tora Mathis, SSG Michelle Myhand, SSG Daniel Hernandez, SGT Danny Kang, SGT Aisha Shakir-Wright, SPC Leticia Irizarry and PV2 Christian Schoeder.