Category Archives: Commandant

Safety is an NCO leader issue

SMA Chandler

By SGT. MAJ. OF THE ARMY RAYMOND F. CHANDLER III
14th Sergeant Major of the Army

 

Team-

It’s summer and historically that means the number of vehicle fatalities, especially those occurring off duty, statistically will increase. Although the total numbers are down this year, the Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center is reporting disturbing trends. My concerns are that 45% of the Army’s fatal motorcycle accidents are indiscipline-based, that NCOs comprise a majority of those fatalities, and that ATV fatalities are rising. These are all NCO leader issues.

As of 7 July 2013, the Army has had 22 motorcycle Soldier fatalities this fiscal year. As previously noted, nearly half of those accidents were indiscipline-based and, of these, 68% occurred between Friday and Sunday.

Most troubling to me, however, is the fact that 14 of the 22 motorcycle fatalities involved Soldiers in the ranks of E5 to E7.

As NCOs, we are the standard-bearers in our units. We look out for our Soldiers and their Families. We enforce regulations to ensure success and safety. But, we also ensure every NCO has someone to check his or her compliance with these responsibilities.

Statistics show that over 60% of motorcycle fatalities are NCOs. That means the messages we NCOs deliver are not effectively reaching other NCOs who are directly influencing junior enlisted Soldiers. This is a poor example for young Soldiers to follow.

To date in this fiscal year, we also have experienced five ATV fatalities, compared to none in FY12 and FY11. Two of these were on-duty accidents. One incident was a rollover during a training exercise, but the second was a staff sergeant not wearing an appropriate safety helmet — another example of indiscipline.

The NCO Creed states, “My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind – – accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers.” We must teach our Soldiers, no matter what their rank, to do the right thing and to appropriately consider comprehensive risk management practices. By doing this, we mitigate safety concerns with activities both on and off duty. As an NCO and leader, I expect you to set, enforce, and abide by these standards. I also expect that you will ask a commander, battle buddy or peer to keep you honest in all these efforts.

Remember, NCOs are the Backbone of the Army.

SMA

USASMA takes care of its own during furlough

 

Boxes of food await the employees of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy who are affected by the Department of Defense directed furlough which began July 8. Many employees of the Academy are able to absorb some of the loss of pay while others are affected more seriously. The Academy conducted a food drive with donations from local businesses to help provide some assistance to those affected the most by the loss of pay. USASMA expects to provide similar boxes every two weeks until the furlough has ended.
Boxes of food await the employees of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy who are affected by the Department of Defense directed furlough which began July 8. Many employees of the Academy are able to absorb some of the loss of pay while others are affected more seriously. The Academy conducted a food drive with donations from local businesses to help provide some assistance to those affected the most by the loss of pay. USASMA expects to provide similar boxes every two weeks until the furlough has ended.

The Department of Defense-directed civilian furloughs began in earnest July 8 and the effects of which are now being felt with the passing of the first pay period where employees saw a reduction in pay. At the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 66 employees are feeling the pinch, some more than others.

“The majority of our civilians are losing two days of pay every pay period because of furlough. Those in the higher pay grades can absorb that loss a little easier than those in the lower pay grades,” Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, commandant of the Academy said. “A great quality of being assigned to the Sergeants Major Academy is that we are like family. Just like any family, we pull together during tough times and help one another.”

That help, Malloy said, has come in the form of a food drive headed up by some of the staff to provide those employees affected the hardest with a little something to get by on and on July 25 the first boxes of food were handed out.

“We have 12 employees at the Academy who are in the base grades (GS-8 and below) that we felt could benefit from some assistance during furlough. We were able to get donations of food from two local businesses and put together several boxes of food to hand out,” said Jesse McKinney, director of Human Relations. “It’s not a lot, but each box contains about 15 individual meals. The hope is it will help to offset some of the loss of pay.”

For one employee, who wished to remain anonymous, the box of food was a welcome surprise.

“This will help a lot,” the employee said. “My loss of pay is about the same as my mortgage payment so this is much appreciated.”

Inside of each box was a letter from the commandant thanking the employees for their service to USASMA which read: “On behalf of the entire organization, we offer you this small token of assistance during this time of increased financial difficulties being placed on you by the DA directed furlough. We hope to provide you this assistance on a bi-weekly basis in order to assist you and your family during this time of hardship.”

Malloy said he was pleased with the efforts of the first food drive and the efforts of those who worked the program.

“I am honored and humbled by the support for members of the USASMA team during these trying times,” he said. “Faith, prayer and the help from others will pull you through any situation.”

Commandant instills fiscal ownership throughout USASMA

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When faced with the task of managing the fiscal assets of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy – people, money and equipment – Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy did exactly what was already a part of his management style, he implemented fiscal responsibility.

Beginning with his first budget meeting, long before sequestration became a household word, Malloy set the stage for a culture change within USASMA. His first slide for his brief to the cadre was a quote from Winston Churchill which read, “Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It’s time we start thinking.”

This alone, he said, let them know that it was no longer a “buy what you think you need operation,” but more of “if you need it – ask yourself three questions before you request it: ‘Do we really need this? How does this help the mission? And is there a better way to do it?’”

The end result, Malloy said, were a whole lot of people thinking outside the box and some major savings in the way USASMA does business.

“The whole gist behind that and the whole time I have been here was, if someone gave you 40 million dollars of course you can do anything, but the reality is the Army only gave us a small amount of money to do what they think we need to do,” he said. “So we have to live within that.”

Malloy said the approach he took was that it was not just one person, one budget clerk sit

ting around figuring out what USASMA needed; it was really the entire Academy’s attitude over a period of time changing and all the leaders were involved in that change.

“So we really got a lot of people thinking how we could do things better which in the end allowed us to execute every single mission without asking for any more money,” he said.

Initiatives that helped USASMA reduce costs of operations included major reductions of personnel on temporary duty orders, placing more course curricula on digital platforms thus reducing printing costs, using digital testing and counseling in courses, removing printer stations from a majority of offices and utilizing print centers, managing copyrights more efficiently, reducing contracts (NCO Journal going digital) and reducing supply expenditures.

“In one year we were able to cut $480,000 in printing curriculum material. The print centers have saved another $85,000 a year,” Malloy said. “In the supplies I told them they had $200,000 and when I saw the request come in at $250,000 I said no and challenged them to justify it. All of a sudden all those extra boxes of pencils and packets of paper weren’t as important.”

Because of Malloy’s insistence on being fiscally responsible, it soon became commonplace that it was no longer we’ll support whatever you want, but we will support what you actually need environment. Soon, Malloy said, the cadre was coming to him with cost saving ideas and methods, things that even he himself would not have found, nor would the S-4 staff have found when they were crunching the numbers.

“Because people took ownership, pride and responsibility for the budget, they took off and found this stuff,” he said. “It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish.”

Malloy said the key to continued success in accomplishing the USASMA mission is to be brutally honest both internally and externally.

“We have to understand what it is we need to be able to execute our mission and we have to fully understand what the mission is and who is asking or telling us to do what,” he said. “When it comes to that point where we can’t pay for it, then I have to be very candid with my boss and tell him exactly that, we cannot execute that mission. Because what we cannot do is to cheapen training or the products we put out.”

Malloy added there is a line that has to be drawn at some place within your budget and when you cross that line to where it starts hindering training and the type of leader that we are developing, or our mission, then that is when we have to be candid with the commander. The commander then has a decision to make. He either funds it, or cuts it and when you do business like that, it makes everyone honest.

“This whole budget thing, we as a nation have got to become more responsible and we have got to lead by example in the military and here at USASMA,” Malloy said.

What future budget cuts sequestration may bring to USASMA operations is somewhat of an enigma, one thing is certain – Malloy and his team will continue to find new ways to save money and push the envelope of fiscal prudence.