GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Hundreds of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria employees from Tower and Rose Barracks gathered at the Reel Time Theater here for a garrison all-hands staff assembly July 27 to recognize team-led progress and reinforce the group’s enduring mission as leaders in Army community support.
“This garrison is always going to be busy. There’s always going to be something — that big-next-thing something — and we’re always going to be in a state of some kind of transition,” said USAG Bavaria Garrison Commander Col. Lance C. Varney. “But I believe we have a strong team, and if we put our heads together, we’ll figure out the best way forward.”
Following an all-hands meeting from January earlier this year, garrison leaders have led a charged community effort to help create a sustainable garrison battle rhythm and maintain positive, supportive work environments for a large and diverse workforce spanning five geographically separate communities, said Annette Evans, deputy to the garrison commander, USAG Bavaria.
The overarching effort to improve operations and strengthen team cohesion has used the garrison commander’s long range plan — published late last year — as a foundation and Installation Management Command’s guiding customer service mission, known as the Service Culture Initiative, to enhance the day-to-day workflow, she added.
“Several of our leaders have been through our areas in the last few weeks,” Varney said. “It didn’t matter if it was in the headquarters or if they met with folks taking care of the grounds, everyone they came in contact with had a positive, can-do attitude. They came away thinking, ‘Wow, we just visited the largest overseas U.S. Army garrison with one of the toughest missions anywhere in the world, and this group deals with it and gets it done at a higher degree than ever seen before.”
At the last all-hands assembly, garrison employees from all directorates and levels of leadership submitted over 200 cards with recommendations on how to improve garrison services and productivity. Evans followed up on those suggestions and highlighted ten accomplishments the garrison organization made in the last six months.
The garrison command group also stood up a workforce development team to bridge the gap between identified challenges and solutions and lead projects Evans hopes to implement in the near future, including minimizing signature authority for documents, optimizing work hours, reducing paper use, consolidating administrative duties and the improving the background check process.
Garrison leaders called on the hundreds of employees to sign a pledge of commitment to IMCOM’s Service Culture Initiative — the “one thread” binding all of USAG Bavaria’s enduring values, and the Army ethic, together, Evans said.
“Ultimately, it’s about establishing an environment in which all employees feel valued and respected for the jobs we all perform,” she said. “It means you have caring and involved leaders, and you know where you fit and how important you are to USAG Bavaria.”
The steady improvements and, in some cases, “astonishing” successes accomplished by the garrison are a product of the garrison’s committed, highly-capable team, said 1st Sgt. Michael Toolin, acting USAG Bavaria command sergeant major.
Varney and Evans mirrored this sentiment, extending thanks and all owed recognition to Bavaria’s ‘ready to fight’ workforce.
“We very much appreciate what you do on a daily basis,” said Varney. “You are part of one of the greatest teams in existence in the United States Army.”