Garrison commanders come together virtually to improve Army quality of life By Scott Malcom | U.S. Army Installation Management Command Public Affairs | Nov. 25, 2020

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JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
More than 150 leaders from Army posts around the world connected virtually with the leadership of U.S. Army Installation Management Command at IMCOM’s annual Garrison Commander Conference Nov. 16-20.

The host for the mission command event was Lt. Gen. Doug Gabram, IMCOM commanding general, who led the group through interactive discussions on several topics important to Army Soldiers, families and civilians.

“Leadership is the most decisive weapon in our arsenal,” Gabram said. “This conference is about making us better leaders by pulling from the wisdom of the crowd through the sharing of best practices and lessons learned.”

Gen. Ed Daly, commanding general of Army Materiel Command – the Army Command that oversees IMCOM and 10 other subordinate commands – kicked things off Nov. 16 by addressing the group about the importance of diversity in our workforce.

“Diverse organizations perform better,” he said. “Every hiring action should orient on that truth.

“You are the unsung heroes of the Army, Daly said, summing up a long list of recent and significant accomplishments by the IMCOM global team. “I like to call you the linemen of the Army; you’re in the trenches grinding out the hard but essential work that moves the ball down the field.”

Other speakers also engaged the group, focusing on important aspects of garrison command and leadership in general.

Retired Army Gen. Vince Brooks joined the group from his home in Austin to provide his view of garrison command based on years’ experience as a senior commander.

Brooks characterized Army installations as “economic engines for their communities.” He went on to say “garrison commanders are uniquely positioned and equipped to be ‘conveners’ who bring together partners inside and outside the gate to strengthen the community.”

Beyond these discussions, the leaders focused on a number of IMCOM and Army priorities, including a review of the IMCOM playbook for fighting COVID on Army bases, the strategy to build back Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation capabilities while maximizing the efficiency of resources that have been reduced due to the pandemic, and a number of topics related to improving housing and barracks.

These last discussions centered on the Facility Investment Plan and the Housing Implementation Plan.

The FIP is a 10-year prioritized plan coordinated across the Army to invest in required infrastructure in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of every dollar.

The HIP is a partnership with the Army’s privatized housing companies to strategically invest in new construction and renovation projects over the next five years. The HIP is implemented through regular weekly meetings with senior leaders from the Army and RCI companies, along with garrison commanders and their local privatized housing manager.

“While I’d like to have you all here on the Riverwalk where I could look you in the eye and spend personal time with you, these tools that allow us to come together virtually are powerful, and they allow a broader cross section of the command to benefit from these interactions. This week has exceeded my expectations,” Gabram said in closing the conference Nov. 19.