IMCOM commander pledges full support to Family Covenant

| February 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Howard Sugai
Installation Management Command-Pacific Public Affairs

Soldiers and families will still receive world-class quality support programs and services to combat stress and strain, and care for life, physical, emotional and spiritual needs

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Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command, spoke during a four-day tour and orientation to Installation Management Command-Pacific region headquarters and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. (Courtesy Photo)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — “The Army Family Covenant will be fully funded. That is the Army’s non-negotiable contract with our Soldiers and families to provide the support and services they need,” said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command.

That message was heard here loud and clear by all who engaged “Defender 6” during his recent four-day, whirlwind, event-crammed, fact-finding orientation to IMCOM-Pacific region headquarters and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Just barely three months into the job, Lynch’s schedule included meeting with Soldiers, family members, senior spouses, senior Army commanders, community leaders and a town hall with Army civilians. He received updates and feedback on family support programs and training issues, and he visited new Army homes and communities. Lynch’s visit also included a half-day visit to Makua Valley.

In his role as IMCOM commander, the 54-year-old Lynch is responsible for 106 installations and considers his job both a “profession and a passion.”

“Our mission, truly, is to take care of Soldiers and families,” Lynch said. “IMCOM is a job truly designed to take care of families and Soldiers. I was picked for IMCOM because I’ve been a division and corps commander.”

Lynch portrays himself as the “Family First” general and is most concerned about the stress on families during these years of multiple combat tours.

“Our Army won’t break because of our Soldiers,” Lynch said. “Even in the most difficult of times they re-enlist. But the Army may break because of our families. The strain and stresses on our families is unimaginable and unbearable.”

He has personal knowledge of the strain, having served two combat tours in Iraq and a year assigned to a NATO command in Italy. Lynch said taking care of families means making families “resilient” to help families recover faster from the stress of deployments and separation. This means focusing on building and improving families’ physical, emotional and spiritual fitness.

Another critical concern Lynch expressed is the expectation that IMCOM will have less money in future years due to the “deficit economy and funding the war.”

“We have to become better stewards of our resources, look for ways to save money and get the most value for each dollar spent,” Lynch said. “We are moving away from a ‘budget culture’ to a ‘cost culture,’ and beginning to manage Army resources from an enterprise business perspective.

“This (perspective) means working smarter to deliver the needed support and services to our Soldiers and families, more efficiently, with fewer resources and without sacrificing the quality of service,” he added.

Lynch challenged all audiences to think about what programs are important, what programs are no longer useful, and what programs are needed.

“Ask yourself if you are doing the right things. Then ask, are you doing them right? Then ask, what am I missing?” he said.

Lynch tells every audience that, “The Army Family Covenant will be fully funded, together with the life, health and safety services our families need.”

This includes installation security operations and services.

Lynch is also concerned and working hard to ensure that family programs are standardized at all installations. Families should experience the same level of service at the same delivery rate and quality.

He is a firm believer in feedback and rating the support and services to Soldiers and families. He stresses the use of the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or the “ICE” comment program.

While at Fort Hood, Texas, he read every ICE comment and required resolution or a solution to every negative comment within 72 hours.

Ultimately, Lynch believes, “the true metric of how well we fulfill the Army Family Covenant will be measured through the lens of our Soldiers and families.”

Learn more about how the Army Family Covenant supports the Army in Hawaii online.

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Category: Community, Leadership

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