JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Nov. 23, 2015) — The Army’s readiness is measured by the ability of a unit to accomplish its assigned mission.
I Corps’ Human Resource Operational Center, or HROC, implemented the Adjutant General University, or AGU, to help train human resource specialists at all echelons. The center helps human resources Soldiers focus on their mission and boost confidence to support their mission.
“It helps ensure Soldiers know exactly what they need to do in their section,” said Maj. Randy Lefebvre, I Corps HROC officer in charge. “It increases their knowledge and the understanding at task and increases accuracy of data for reporting and training.”
AGU has been taught at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, or JBLM, since 2013, but is now being recognized by U.S. Army Forces Command, which is recommending the course be offered on other installations.
With the help of the Adjutant General School and the Soldier Support Institute on Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the course is instructed by HROC personnel on JBLM. To make the course effective, the instructors are selected, and are considered some of the best in their career field, Lefebvre said.
“I believe that this class gives us a view of what we should be doing at our level to keep combatant commanders informed and to be able to assist them,” said Capt. Kamilia Blake, 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division personnel office officer in charge. “It also lets us know the different systems we can use to accomplish that.”
Aside from all the basic skills learned from prior training, the class goes in-depth with the programs and systems considered to be key in the career field, focusing more on programs the Soldiers use on a daily basis.
“We teach Soldiers the eMILPO [Electronic Military Personnel Office], which is what a majority of these Soldiers use down at the battalion level,” Lefebvre said. “We also teach them about iPERMS [Interactive Personnel Electronic Record Management System], awards, and other HR metrics.”
An important aspect of the course is the casualty report. Lefebvre emphasized that the casualty report is one of the most important parts of a commander’s personnel office.
“When a brigade goes to the Joint Readiness Training Center or the National Training Center, they get assessed on their casualty management program,” he said. “In the past, there have been units that have gone and have not been able to be successful in that section.”
Lefebvre also incorporated a casualty training video that shows the Soldiers examples of preparing the casualty report during a deployment.
A unique aspect of the course is that it trains any Soldier serving in the capacity of a human resource specialist.
“A lot of the units here on JBLM have several different types of MOS [military occupation specialties] serving the capacity of human resource,” Lefebvre said.
During his time as the senior noncommissioned officer on JBLM, Command Sgt. Maj. James Norman directed that all human resource Soldiers, new to the installation, attend the course.
“It trains and develops Soldiers that have been serving possibly on drill sergeant or recruiting duty, that haven’t touched the human resource system in their last couple of years in service,” Lefebvre said. “They are expected to perform effectively, so this kick starts them so that they are prepared.”
Other installations are copying the JBLM initiative, such as the XVIII Airborne Corps on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Blake said she would take what she learns from the course and use it effectively in her shop. She feels it is important for her as the officer in charge to know the capabilities of her profession.
“This allows me to know what kind of capabilities that I have so I can go back to my shop and I’m able to check them as well to make sure they’re doing the right procedures and doing it accurately,” Blake said. “For the biggest part, I am able to inform my commander on relevant information so that they can make accurate decisions on the battlefield.”
By the time a Soldier leaves the course, Lefebvre knows Service members are more confident in their jobs, with more knowledge to make an impact in their unit. He also encourages commanders to keep sending not just their new Soldiers, but also anyone who serves in a human resource capacity, which includes officers.
“By sending them to this training,” Lefebvre said, “it will make your unit more effective and meet the intent of the chief of staff of the Army to impact readiness.”
Photo credit: Soldiers, from various units, attend the Adjutant General University on Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., Nov. 17, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eliverto Larios)