United States Army Garrison Commander Col. Jon Braga met with employees and Soldiers for his first commander’s call, here, July 29.
Braga has already conducted meetings with individual directorates and their staff, but the commander’s call follows a tradition of meeting with a unit as a whole. He made it clear he was not there to advocate for abrupt changes.
“What you’re not going to get from me today is this master vision and all these changes I’m going to make – here are the core values, here is what we’re all about, this is what we’re doing – no, we’re going to develop it together.”
He immediately requested input from his staff by asking them to write on a card the theme or branding message of Fort Irwin and three core values that USAG represents. The responses, which he collected, would serve as a sort of sensing session, Braga said.
The colonel then outlined his personal core values and leadership philosophy.
Braga stated, “These are my core values, this is what I’m about:”
- Balance – Faith, family, country
- Integrity – Lead by example; do the right thing always; honorable, trustworthy and dedicated
- Compassion – Selflessly serve others; know your people
- Humility – Always look to grow and improve
- Passion – Enthusiastically believe in a vision and always look to make a difference
Braga said that he is now headed toward a better balance in his family life in comparison to the previous decade, when he was regularly deployed. He asked his staff to consider making family balance a priority during furlough days.
“Try taking advantage of those mandatory days off and spend time doing things you really love, and hopefully that’s your family, or anything else you enjoy, if you’re single,” Braga said.
About compassion, Braga said, he loves the Army and loves serving Soldiers. Now that he is working with so many civilians for the first time, he offered to support their efforts.
“I do want to know how to help you accomplish your job, because that makes us collectively better,” Braga said. “I’m here to serve you.”
Braga provided descriptions of his leadership philosophy. His beliefs include: adaptability, flexibility, proactive problem solvers; Team of Teams; decentralization and optimization; always improving, learning, growing; After Action Reviews; effective and efficient, and; have fun.
“I refuse not to have fun,” Braga commented on his last bullet. “Life’s too short not to have fun.”
Towards the end of his address, Braga reminded the audience of the significance of their roles in supporting the mission of the National Training Center.
“The NTC is part of the solution for the Army, and Garrison is part of the solution for the NTC,” Braga said. “This place doesn’t function – the Army doesn’t have a National Training Center if you aren’t behind the scenes, pulling the strings, making it happen. This is a vital piece of our national security. And that’s what you’re a part of.”