At Redstone Arsenal, AL, as a Human Resources Specialist for the Army Materiel Command’s (AMC’s) G-1 (Personnel), Darion Boone knows his work affects the professional wellbeing of employees whose mission is to support Soldiers with equipment and sustainment all around the world. That’s reason enough to keep this former Soldier not only engaged in his HR mission, but to also volunteer for special projects for the G-1.
Boone’s leadership and commitment to the mission as well as his work ethic recently brought recognition when he was named as AMC Headquarters’ Employee of the Quarter for the Second Quarter, 2022. He is among 10 employees recognized by AMC and its major subordinate commands for Employee of the Quarter throughout the AMC worldwide enterprise.
“On a regular basis and with a consistently positive attitude, Mr. Boone demonstrates personal initiative by volunteering for special projects and tasks that are unprecedented in nature, high visibility and often under urgent deadlines. He completes every assignment in a timely manner and with a thorough attention to detail,” Boone’s nomination packet stated.
Boone’s day-to-day job is to manage AMC’s Civilian Overseas Tours and Entitlements, which is particularly challenging during heightened support for current operations in Europe. He also oversees AMC’s Injury Compensation Program with about 4,000 claims across the AMC enterprise totaling $450 million; and is the lead integrator for Line of Effort 4 (Retain) for the AMC People Strategy.
In fiscal year 2022, Boone volunteered to take on the task to support the President’s federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for civilian employees, ensuring 100% accountability of the COVID vaccination status for more than 85,000 civilian employees across the AMC enterprise. As the command with the largest civilian population in the Army, Boone’s initiative was instrumental in the successful completion of civilian vaccination records to ensure the health and safety of the global AMC workforce and enforcement of the Presidential order.
“I hope my contributions gave the AMC leadership and the Department of the Army a better visualization of the vaccination status of their employees, which allowed for them to make the right decisions for their workforce and planning, allowing employees to have clear instructions on the way forward during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Boone said.
Boone represented AMC in collaborating on a daily basis with the staff of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civilian Personnel to report and validate the AMC civilian vaccination data. He worked with AMC major subordinate commands and separate reporting activities to complete employees’ vaccination documentation and report status, both manually and online, and kept the AMC senior leadership informed of the commands’ daily progress.
“I looked at it as a challenge and I like that aspect, it was something new and very important. Someone needed to take it on at that time and I had the capacity to handle it without impacting any of my other work,” Boone said.
A large number of manufacturing employees working at AMC’s depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants don’t have access to government computers. For that reason, obtaining vaccination data included the manual collection of hard copy documents that had to be scanned into the online computer system.
Boone came to AMC as an Army civilian in 2012 to manage the Reserve Affairs Program, after retiring from a 22-year Human Resources career as an Army Soldier. He enlisted in 1989 after graduating from high school in Clovis, New Mexico.
“Even as a little kid I played Soldier. I loved the military and looked up to family members who had served in the military, including my dad who served in the Army and my stepdad who was in the Air Force,” Boone said.
“I grew up around the Air Force. When I got older, I hung out at the recruiting station. I basically recruited myself. Three days after I turned 18, I turned in my enlistment packet. At the time they recruited based on categories. I was color blind, so instead of 150 career paths, there were only six I qualified for. One of those was Personnel Action Specialist.”
Assignments took him to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he worked with the 101st Airborne; and then to Germany. He had a recruiting assignment in Florida and then transferred to the Pentagon after 9/11 to work for the G-8 (Force Development), taking on the responsibilities of a Soldier killed in the 9/11 attack. He has also worked at the Special Operations Command – Central, Tampa, Florida.
“Throughout my Army career, the way you talk to people, treat people, you build relationships,” Boone said. “HR is HR whether you are civilian or military. It’s about being helpful, assisting people, finding ways to make things happen for them, and being able to explain when things can’t be done. You need to know what the HR regulations are and how they apply to people’s situations and help them understand how those regulations apply to them.”
Six years into his civilian career with AMC, Boone took an HR assignment in Italy with the U.S. Army-Africa / Southern European Task Force, where he first served as the G-1 representative to Plans and Operations and then as chief of Policy and Programs for the G-1. In 2020, with COVID-19 making travel back to the U.S. difficult, Boone decided to return to AMC headquarters in Huntsville.
“I’ve enjoyed returning to the AMC G-1 team at headquarters,” Boone said. “AMC is a great place to work. Employees are dedicated to their job to support the warfighters and the commander’s initiatives. I love the challenges and opportunities I’ve had with AMC, and the employees and team I get to work with every day.”
When not at work, Boone is active with the Rocket City Chapter of the Adjutant General Corps Regimental Association, participating in its adopt-a-mile program, support to the teachers and students of Huntsville’s Morris Elementary, and support to the veterans of the Floyd E. Tut Fann Home for Veterans. He is also a member of the Greater Huntsville Area St. Jude Committee, organizing events to support cancer research and treatment for children at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis.