Lynch, Rick, Army
We are committed to:
* Providing Soldiers and Families a quality of life that is commensurate with their service.
* Providing our Families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive.
* Building a partnership with Army Families that enhances their strength and resilience.
- 2010 Army Posture Statement
Our Army is on the forefront of its longest conflict. As soldiers and their families have risen to the challenges of modern deployments, the Installation Management community has improved our ability to sustain the Army's soldiers, civilians and families; allowed our forces to prepare for success in the current conflict; reset returning units to rebuild the readiness consumed in operations and to prepare for future deployments and contingencies; and transformed to meet the demands of the 21st century.
We live in a time of great demands on our soldiers, civilians and their families - which also places great demand on our resources. That is why we made partnering with other organizations an integral component of the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Campaign Plan.
The Installation Management community collaborates with like-minded organizations via community covenants and other programs to tap new resources and enhance the quality of life for our soldiers, civilians and families. I believe our greatest successes have come through partnerships with others.
In this new modality of warfighting, the Army's Installation Management community recognizes the immense toll of persistent warfare not only in battlefield casualties, but on stressed soldiers and families and the communities to which we belong. As the Army evolves, we have found that strategic partnerships not only improve the health and wellness of the soldier - his or her resiliency in the face of adversity - but also result in efficiencies during an era of war and fiscal uncertainty.
As part of the Army's overall transformation, institutional adaptation represents the effort of a stressed Army to regain a healthy balance as soldiers deploy, dwell and deploy again as necessary. Yet the ability to preserve resiliency among soldiers and other stakeholders facing strenuous operational demands is one that requires imaginative and innovative solutions - namely, the efficiencies gained through partnerships among professionals working toward similar goals.
To ensure that we can maintain an all-volunteer force of the highest caliber, trained and ready to deploy whenever and wherever needed, the Army endeavors to adapt its business model by focusing on four core enterprises: human capital, material, readiness, and services and infrastructure (SICE). Under this rubric, the Installation Management community engages the SlCE partnership to support the training and mobilization of active and reserve component forces, while providing the full range of support for the hundreds of thousands of stakeholders attached to the 157 Army installations around the world. The 17 SICE partners include cochairs IMCOM and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations and Environment, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Medical Command, Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve Command among others. Together they manage more than 160 programs providing services and infrastructure support to our forces.
This concept allows the Army to continue to generate force while reducing the turbulence of wartime deployments for soldiers, families and civilians. It has the greatest potential for optimization of Army resources through the integration of supporting enterprises.
SlCE began in the Army as part of a business transformation designed to help the institution gain efficiencies while reducing redundancies and modernizing infrastructure. During this transformation, leaders soon became aware of the need to better understand the human dimension and the effects of persistent conflict on the entire enterprise. It was seemingly prophetic when former Secretary of State Colin Powell warned several years ago of an Army stretched to the breaking point, with men and women enduring multiple and often lengthened deployments to overseas war zones. Since then, SICE has undertaken a number of initiatives for the Installation Management community, including improved housing, improved medical and mental-health care, and revamped family assistance programs.
The Community Covenant - A Unity of Effort
The Army launched the Community Covenant program to foster and sustain partnerships with state- and community-level entities to improve the quality of life for soldiers and families, wherever they may be stationed across the country and around the world. Those communities outside our garrison gates (and, in many cases, communities far from our garrisons) have reached out to soldiers and their families, offering support and assistance. Army leadership has reached back: We continually look for opportunities to bring these communities closer to ours.
The Army offers assistance through this platform to soldiers and families in the way of deployed soldier/unit support, education, employment, financial assistance and help for Wounded Warriors and the spouses and families of those who did not return. The Army's Community Covenant extends to other services, too, recognizing that many community efforts support servicemembers and their families regardless of parochial differences or the uniform worn. In recent years, the Army has forged partnerships with numerous government and private organizations, including the American Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring America's veterans. The foundation raises money and awareness for welfare and educational issues facing those wounded in action and for the survivors of those killed in action during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Like many such organizations, the foundation harnesses the power of celebrity, holding an annual American Freedom Festival, a concert featuring countrymusic performers, actors, athletes, dignitaries and other notable Americans, joining in a unity of effort on behalf of our soldiers and families.
Other community partnerships include the Armed Services YMCA, a nonprofit that works with the Pentagon to provide support to soldiers and families with a mix of educational, recreational and family programs. The organization operates out of 16 branch locations, in addition to nine affiliated community YMCAs and six locations hosted by the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. There are also more familiar names, such as the American Legion, whose family support network provides immediate assistance to servicemembers and families whose lives have been disrupted by the ongoing wars. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a homeland strike in the continuing conflict between the United States and nonstate actors, the nation has relied upon its Guard and Reserve soldiers in unprecedented numbers and for unprecedented duration. As we ask more of our all-volunteer force in this time of war, servicemembers and their families often find themselves in tough financial and social situations, despite improved pay and benefits and social support provided by the federal government. Army partners such as the American Legion's family support network help those in need by providing assistance with routine household matters and financial expenses, ranging from grocery shopping and home maintenance to connections with other community resources during times of deployment. The network includes more than 14,000 posts across the continental United States.
Other Partnerships, Within and Without
One of the notable improvements to the Army's social network, however, begins at home with servicemembers' children, whose welfare was often overlooked in the generation of force. With a more modern, enlightened viewpoint) the Army continues recent efforts to improve school support services and increase the number of child-care facilities for families at installations around the world. This year, the Installation Management community is tackling concerns about dilapidated school facilities at several installations, after having achieved dramatic success in improving child-development programs, whose reputation has soared to Army gold.
Two years ago, the Pentagon made another dramatic move toward improving the education of the children of America's finest, partnering with the Council of State Governments to address (he educational issues associated with the transient life of the military child, hopping from installation to installation. To date, 32 states have passed legislation adopting the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which ensures that no military child slips through the cracks during a school transition. The compact provides a framework for compliance and enforcement at state and local levels.
In addition, the Army now eases the transition for military students from school to school by dedicating a liaison officer at 141 installations around the world to assist families in tapping local resources while advising educators on the unique academic challenges posed to Army children. The Army also engages the Military Child Education Coalition, a global organization that studies and identifies challenges relating to the transient lifestyle of the military child. The coalition advises local school personnel and studies ways to facilitate the normalization of education for highly mobile students, to level the playing field for children whose homes continually shift from state to state and continent to continent. As part of its effort, the group developed Living in the New Normal: Helping Children Thrive Through Good and Challenging Times, a program to help mitigate psychological and educational challenges derived from not only high mobility but grief, loss, loneliness and separation.
One of our greatest partnerships is with our Army families through the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP). GEN John A. Wickham Jr. initiated this program more than 25 years ago when he was Chief of Staff of the Army.
This partnership brings family members face to face with Army leaders to highlight issues affecting military families. About 95 percent of AFAP issues are addressed at the local level and result in ongoing community improvements. Those that can be implemented on a broader scale are evaluated and implemented as appropriate. AFAP truly provides the voice for families to elevate their concerns and remains the preeminent means for commanders at all levels to seek solutions to the concerns of their communities.
As the Army seeks to maximize the value of its soldier and family programs, it also seeks to reduce redundancies and increase efficiencies. This is vitally important to enhance the quality of life for our Army families while improving force generation and ensuring the sustainability of the all-volunteer force. Working with committed partners at the community, state and national levels enables us to use resources efficiently while honoring and addressing the sacrifices our soldiers and families are making. The strength of our partnerships underscores the unity of our purpose and efforts. We are proud to be joined by our communities in an unflagging commitment to provide our soldiers and families with a quality of life commensurate with their ongoing service.
Sherida Gonzales, a logistics specialist with the 125th Brigade Support Battalion. 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. 1st Armored Division, and her family visit the Biggs Park playground on East Fort Bliss, Texas.
Leaders from the Fort My er, Va., Military Community and Arlington County, Va., reaffirm the Army Community Covenant at the local county fair.
LTG Rick Lynch and his wife. Sarah, stand to attention as the 2010 Army Family Action Plan conference gets under way in Arlington. Va.
Installation Management Command has formed the "Army IMCOM" team to encourage command members to participate in the Department of Defense's "Leap Into Fall" fitness challenge.
By LTG Rick Lynch
Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation
U.S. Army Installation
LTG Rick Lynch is the assistant chief of staff for Installation Management and commanding general, U.S. Army Installation Management Command. He previously served as the commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he has also served as deputy chief of staff for strategic effects for Multi-Natioual ForceIraq and as commander, 3rd Infantry Division ( Mechanized) and Multi-National Division-Center, Baghdad, Iraq. He has a master's degree from MIT.…
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Publication information: Article title: Forging Partnerships. Contributors: Lynch, Rick - Author. Magazine title: Army. Volume: 60. Issue: 10 Publication date: October 2010. Page number: 191+. © Association of the United States Army Feb 2009. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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