By Tom Byrd, Fort Jackson Public Affairs
(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the Fort Jackson Campaign Plan and highlight the work being done to support the lines of effort.)
The Best Version of Ourselves
Since arriving in June, Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commanding general, has had the opportunity to get to know the people and mission of the largest training base in the Army.
While acknowledging the tremendous work done during the pandemic, Michaelis sees areas where the post can grow.
“Fort Jackson is already viewed as the flagship of all U.S. Army Training Centers, but we want to continue to improve to make it a coveted destination of choice for Soldiers, Army Civilians and their Families,” he said.
To achieve this vision, Michaelis has updated his priorities, which are the foundation of the Fort Jackson campaign plan. These priorities are people first, training and developing leaders, quality of life and community engagement.
People First – Line of Effort #1
“The most important thing we can do is to put people first. If we get that right, the rest will follow.”
“Putting people first means creating and cultivating an environment in which formations and people are protected, enabled, and empowered to work to their natural best, to be the best version of themselves.” Michaelis said, “It’s about creating an organizational culture where people love to come to work, no matter how challenging it is.”
Fort Jackson will focus on programs and initiatives that promote cohesive teams and prioritize people, such as sponsorship, wellness, “This Is My Squad,” resiliency, and others that will reflect in our formations, work force, and their Families, he added.
Training and Developing Leaders – Line of Effort #2
Michaelis said training and developing leaders is the core purpose of Fort Jackson.
Michaelis’ intent is for Fort Jackson to continuously refine the expertise and approach to ‘train to habit’ the ability to shoot, move, communicate, and survive in support of the Multi-Domain Operations-Capable Soldier of 2028.
“As the flagship training center, we’ve got to lead innovation within the enterprise right here at Fort Jackson,” he said.
The CG’s central themes in developing leaders focus on expanding expertise, values and ethics, and the mechanics of leadership. Expertise is built in the profession of arms, in ensuring training is quality and to-standard; and morals, values and ethics are ingrained in each Soldier, and form a baseline for all actions and decisions. Lastly, the goal is to expand leader understanding of the mechanics – the “how-to” of leadership.
Ultimately, trainees, Soldiers and leaders will depart Fort Jackson inspired to serve, acculturated to the Army, and with foundational standards and behaviors.
Quality of Life – Line of Effort #3
Michaelis said he wants to make Fort Jackson a destination of choice for Soldiers, Army civilians, and their Families. Quality of life - our on post Housing, barracks, dining facilities, medical facilities, and FMWR programs - compliment the other three priorities.
“We have to be focused on the experience of life in and around Fort Jackson for our trainees, our cadre, and our Families, as much as we are focused on people first,” he said.
Michaelis said he wants a sense of “ownership at echelon”— created by arming Fort Jackson cadre, leaders, and their Families with the resources to solve challenges. By doing this, we allow our limited maintenance assets to work on larger, more pressing challenges.
Some of the ways the post is seeking to improve the quality of life on post is through feedback taken from forums such as the Community Information Town Hall held Nov. 5.
“One of the challenges we have is making sure you all know … what’s happening on post and around post directly increasing the quality of life for you and your Families,” Michaelis said at the event. Some recent changes that improved the quality of life included reopening Gate 5 and residents being able to receive food deliveries from off-post vendors, he added.
Community Engagement – Line of Effort #4
The final LOE focuses on telling the Army and Fort Jackson story to both internal and external audiences.
Internally is how we connect our Families to resources and to each other, while external engagement will work to educate and solidify confidence in what Fort Jackson and the Army does for the midlands and the Nation.
Further, community engagement directly supports the accessions enterprise to ensure the future of the all-volunteer force, and ensures public trust in the Army as a profession.
To ensure his vision of the future of Fort Jackson is successful, the Post’s weekly battle rhythm has been adjusted so that each week in the month specifically corresponds to each line of effort, with a weekly command board executed by the office of primary responsibility.
”Ultimately, the Fort Jackson campaign plan is about creating momentum and progress along each line of effort. We don’t need more ‘Hooah’, we need ‘Do-ah,’” said Michaelis