By: COL Christine V. Enriquez
The AGCRA Gold Vault Chapter (GVC) at Fort Knox held its first annual AG Week from 23-26 April 2019. The Chapter has celebrated an annual AG Ball and GVC Golf Tournament for the past eight years, however 2019 was the first year the GVC convened a formal week of AG activities. The previous Commanding General, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, MG Jason T. Evans, graciously agreed to have HRC host the AG Week activities. The GVC President, CSM Lynice Thorpe Noel (HRC Command Sergeant Major), welcomed all attendees, both local and worldwide to the week of AG activities.
The 2019 Fort Knox GVC AG Week consisted of an AG Ice Breaker, AG Athletics, Leader Professional Development sessions, AG Bowling Night, an AG Senior Leader General Officer Panel, and culminated with the Annual GVC AG Ball. Due to inclement weather, the GVC Golf Tournament was postponed to 23 June 2019.
The AG Week theme was “AG Heroes Amongst Us” and the theme permeated during the week. During AG Athletics, led by SGM Pamela Duggan (EPMD Sergeant Major), AG Warriors dressed up as their favorite super heroes to run relay races, participated in Zumba, compete in corn hole and volleyball, and complete a Fun Run / Walk. Later that day, LTC Leslie DeSander (Soldier Support Branch Chief, EPMD) and LTC (P) Miles Gengler (AG Branch Chief, OPMD) provided Enlisted and Officer Branch Briefs. CW4 Astra Williams gave an informative Warrant Officer briefing, Mr. Jamie Worthy educated attendees on the Civilian Work Force Development Program, and COL Mark Viney (Chief, Field Services Division, TAGD) provided MilPay and HR Transformation briefings.
Fort Knox tenant units, visiting AG leaders, and HRC personnel had the opportunity to ask AG General Officers an array of questions on 26 April during an AG GO senior leader panel. The panel members consisted of MG Evans, BG Twanda “Tia” Young (HRC Deputy Commanding General), BG Robert Bennett (The Adjutant General), and BG Douglas Stitt (Director, OPMD). COL Elmore J. Jones, the Director, EPMD also fielded questions from the audience. Topics included the new Academic Evaluation Report, the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test, Reserve Component Talent Management, and leadership responsibilities to spread HRC’s strategic message.
The week culminated with the Annual GVC AG Ball held at the Sadowski Center on Fort Knox. MG Evans was the senior leader and hosted the event, BG Young sang the National Anthem, BG Bennett provided his vision for the AG Corps with his TAG Address, and BG Stitt served as the guest speaker and heralded the achievements of AG Heroes on post and throughout the Army. The GVC President, CSM Thorpe Noel, led the audience in reciting the AG Creed. Approximately 20 gift baskets and giveaways went to lucky winners. Ms. Teresia Buissereth (daughter of Mrs. Wilzianne Buissereth) and Ms. Haley Scott (daughter of COL (Ret) Tony Teolis and Mrs. Shelby Teolis) won $500 scholarships and several deserving Chapter members received their AGCRA awards. Other honored guests in attendance included MG (Ret) Richard Mustion (former HRC Commander) and Mrs. Mustion and BG (Ret) James Iacocca and Mrs. Iacocca.
The GVC was especially honored to present awards to a very deserving couple, MG Evans and Mrs. Machelle “Chelle” Evans. MG Evans received his Lifetime Achievement Award and Mrs. Evans received her AGCRA Mrs. Maude / Mrs. Strickland Spouse Award. The couple continues to selflessly serve the AG Corps and the Army for more than 30 years.
The AGCRA and the Gold Vault Chapter took the opportunity to highlight their numerous accomplishments and contributions during the GVC AG Ball, and they truly represented the Chapter’s “AG Heroes Amongst Us.”
Adjutant General’s Corps Soldiers receive guidance and kudos to kick off AG Week, May 7-10, 2019, at Fort Campbell, KY.
FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky – CSM Lynice Thorpe-Noel, Senior Enlisted Advisor at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, visited Fort Campbell to participate in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Adjutant General Week, hosted by the AGCRA Screaming Eagles Chapter, May 7-10, 2019.
The purpose of AG week was a team- and morale-building event for AG Soldiers all across Fort Campbell, while also providing educational opportunities and training seminars. Nearly 80 Soldiers and leaders gathered for training sessions, as well as a meet and greet breakfast and sports competitions.
“AG week is an outstanding opportunity for me to come here and talk to you about our profession and ways we can strengthen our Army through talent management,” CSM Thorpe-Noel said. She added, “As HR professionals, you are the tip of the spear for sustaining readiness and ensuring we are placing the right Soldiers in the right positions at the right time.”
Speaking to the group, CSM Thorpe-Noel emphasized that all Soldiers, regardless of rank, duty position or MOS, need to know about upcoming personnel changes and how they will impact the courses of their careers. She also introduced what she calls her team of teams; experts that accompanied her to discuss HRC programs.
One of those, SGM Damon Smith, HRC’s Soldier Support Branch Sergeant Major, detailed several aspects of the Assignment Satisfaction Key (ASK). He told the AG Soldiers in the room that they must emphasize to their units the importance of updating this tool. “There is a new initiative, where if you like this great place, Fort Campbell, and you want to stabilize here for 36 more months; you can do that through ASK,” said SGM Smith. SGM Smith also explained grade plate changes coming to the AG NCO Corps. “We are moving back to having SFCs at the Battalion level, and MSGs at the brigade level,” he said. “Some of you are probably at that level now, because we’ve started it on just about every installation.
CSM Thorpe-Noel described another program of interest to Fort Campbell and its Soldiers: the Army Credentialing Program, a new initiative that provides Soldiers with the funding to pay for training and classes that lead to certificates, licensures and credentials in more than 1,600 occupations. The program is now available to Soldiers based at Fort Campbell and throughout the state, including Kentucky National Guard and Reserve Soldiers who live in and actively drill with a unit in Kentucky. “Army credentialing is something to get excited about,” CSM Thorpe-Noel said. “It allows our Soldiers an opportunity to gain professional credentialing while in the Army for civilian jobs and careers after they leave the Army.”
The program is scheduled to roll-out Army wide in 2020 and provides up to $4,000 a year to pay for academic, vocational, and technical courses and exams. Soldiers are required to take the courses during their off-duty time from training providers and educational institutions approved by the Army.
CSM Thorpe-Noel and her team introduced the Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management Directorates at HRC. “OPMD manages almost 90,000 commissioned officers and warrant officers across the Army,” she said. “EPMD has 178 MOSs they manage on a daily basis, with about 460,000 Active- and Reserve-component Enlisted Soldiers.” The group discussed the Army’s new Active Duty Officer Assignment Interactive Module (AIM). CSM Thorpe-Noel said a similar program is currently being considered for Enlisted Soldiers. “The AIM system is a game changer,” she said. “It is an opportunity to capture all of those individual special skills that Soldiers may have that would not otherwise be listed on their records. We can take that information and match Soldiers’ knowledge, skills, experience and preferences with suitable positions across the total Army.”
The new tools and programs are exciting for the AG corps, but CSM Thorpe-Noel said ultimately HRC’s top priority is the Army’s top priority – readiness. “For AG Corps Soldiers, this means executing personnel distribution to generate or enhance readiness across all Army formations,” she said. “That’s why we [AG Corps Soldiers] must be skilled in this multifaceted arena of human resources to ensure that our Army remains the most powerful in the world. We can’t fight and win our nation’s wars without our most precious resource – Soldiers.”
Following the breakfast and the HRC brief, most of AG Week focused on “AG University” a series of classes on human resource systems, the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army, evaluations, and other MOS skills. The week ended with a competitive tournament of Ultimate Frisbee.
The primary purpose of the week’s events were boosting morale, providing educational opportunities and conducting training seminars. However, MAJ Jodi D. Krippel, Senior VP, Screaming Eagles Chapter, said that she hopes the biggest beneficiaries will end up being the Soldiers whom the AG Corps services every day. “The week was a huge success; we were able to provide training opportunities to the Fort Campbell HR community that they can take back to their units, while also enhancing networking and comradery within our profession,” said MAJ Krippel. “We hope to continue this event for years to come.”
Several Soldiers and leaders were recognized at AG Week for their efforts and contributions to the field.
Theodore Roosevelt Medal, for maximum score on an Army Physical Fitness Test:
SPC Leroy Henry, 101st ABN DIV G-1
COL Robert L. Manning Achievement Medal, for promoting the objectives and purposes of the AG Corps:
CPT Chrystal Ware, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st ABN DIV
SGT 1st Class Melanie Hollingsworth, 101st ABN DIV G-1
SFC Candace Jones, 101st ABN DIV G-1
SSG Asha Norman, 101st ABN DIV G-1
SPC Leroy Henry, 101st ABN DIV G-1
Horatio Gates Bronze Medal, for distinguished achievements and service of individuals who promote the objectives and purposes of the AG Corps and AGCRA:
CW3 Detrottus Thomas, 101st ABN DIV G-1
SFC (Ret.) William Mendez, 101st ABN DIV G-1