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                 lead or attend. I will never forget the first time I provided a decision briefing to BG Beagle. As is typical for most briefings to the Commanding General, I sent his aide a read ahead of the briefing three days prior. On the day of the briefing I was about to hand him a copy of the slides when he said, “Thanks, I don’t need them, I have my homework right here.” His point was, if you take the time to prepare a briefing for me, I will take the time to read, understand and provide you my thoughts on it. He not only read the briefing but wrote notes on almost every page.
Never eat alone: The key point here is to maximize the number of touchpoints you have throughout the day to talk, interact and lead your Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family members. Along with never eating alone, never run during PT alone or march at the front of your formation for an entire foot march. A few examples of touchpoints that the CG utilizes are the commander’s dialogue that he opens with for every ATC Brigade quarterly training brief (QTB) or Garrison quarterly integration brief (QIB), coffee and conversation, a new initiative he is starting that consists of having a cup of coffee and simply chatting with various demographics on post in an informal setting, numerous luncheons targeted for specific audiences (Brigade commanders, G-Staff, USAG Directors, and our Partners in Excellence commanders to name a
few) as well as the simple but important impromptu interactions with folks at training or throughout his day.
Every commander in the Army is familiar with Army Regulation 600-20, Army Command Policy, which establishes the regulatory requirement for commanders to conduct command climate assessments. Unfortunately for most Soldiers and Army Civilians, once they complete their units command climate assessment and hit the submit button, this is the last interaction they may have with that assessment.
Fortunately for Soldiers and Army Civilians at Fort Jackson that is
not the case. Because of the tremendous leadership of the CG and MSG Marritsa Flowers - the senior chief program manager for our installation’s Equal Opportunity (EO) office - receiving the results from the command climate assessment is only the beginning of the process. The transparency of the results from these assessments is phenomenal. Multiple installation level town halls were conducted to address the results of the assessment and
more importantly, the command’s plan for resolving issues. BG Beagle routinely discusses these issues
with Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family members in many different settings. He frequently will also communicate his thoughts on the command climate and ongoing actions on how we are improving it in his monthly column in the Leader, Fort Jackson’s weekly newspaper.
Receiving statistically valid feedback is a true challenge anytime an organization undertakes a command climate survey. All of us at times suffer from some type of survey fatigue. Again, this is where your leadership as a commander is critical. You must stress the importance of having everyone in the organization complete these assessments, otherwise, the active minority will represent the silent majority. We more than doubled the number of respondents during our most recent command climate assessment.
Another initiative that the CG started was to provide an assessment of his first 90 days in command as well as an annual assessment, both of which were shared with the entire installation. The key point here
for leaders is that you must be actively engaged in shaping and improving your command’s climate and communicate how important it is to you to solve issues for the good of your organization. As a commander, it is important to never forget the words of George Bernard Shaw – Irish playwright and political activist
– when it comes to communication “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place,” communicate, communicate, and communicate.
Better Today
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