Alaska Post - Home of the Arctic Warriors


Town hall talking points



What we know right now: That there is a lot we DON’T KNOW. We are going to be up front, transparent and honest throughout this entire process. What that may mean is that we won’t be able to answer all your questions immediately. It will mean you may hear “I don’t know”…if we don’t have facts, we won’t guess. We will find out the answer.


We are working as a team with all the directorates and the Union. Mr. Ward has all the information we have and will be intimately involved in this entire process.

You are our first priority and everything we do or don’t do, is in the organizations and your best interests.


We may not be able to control a lot of the variables in this process; much of it is happening many levels above me. But the one thing we can control is our focus. Our focus is completely on taking care of you and mitigating the impact of these cuts to the best of our ability.


As we get information and as the situation changes we will get it out to you. We will set up a variety of means to get information out to you all and to take in your questions. We will take your questions, run down the answers and get them out to you.


     - Army was given a mandate from the Secretary of Defense to reduce 8,741 civilian authorizations.


     - Installation Management Command’s portion of that is 4,162 authorizations and 3,766 personnel (on board strength includes: temp hires, term employees, overhires and permanent authorized)


     - Fort Wainwright’s portion right now is 61 authorizations off the books by Sept. 30, 2012.


     - Authorizations vs. People…not the same thing. Authorizations do not equate to people losing jobs.


     - From the government’s perspective, this is all about cutting dollars. We are funded based on authorized positions, not our onboard strength. By cutting authorizations, the government saves civilian pay dollars.  For positions that are in excess of our authorized strength (overhires), we pay for those out of base operations funding. By reducing the number of overhires, we also reduce dollars.


     - What we don’t know: if there will be future cuts or if there will be a Reduction-in-Force (RIF).


     - We do know that we have been instructed that a RIF is NOT a tool that will be used right now.  It is however a possibility. The only person who can authorize a RIF is the Secretary of the Army. This is obviously a very serious political decision during an election year!


Our Strategy and the Process: Team Wainwright first, our people always.


     - Our basic strategy is to take care of us first.  Use all tools and means available to us to voluntarily reduce our workforce and become as efficient and cost effective as possible.  Additionally, do everything we can to affect all who are impacted.


     - Several Tools we can use to achieve this:


     a. Fix us first. Even though there is a hiring freeze, we have some vacancies we can fill. We are looking at every authorized vacancy we have and we are looking at our work force for individuals who meet the minimum qualifications before we look anywhere else. It also means we looked at positions that have historically been vacant and we harvested those authorizations instead of trying to fill them.


     b. We have spent many hours looking at our organizational structure to develop our most efficient organization. We did this looking at removing redundancies, expanding span of control and reducing levels of supervision. We also looked at redistributing duties and responsibilities to better reflect what we are actually doing. All of this allows us to find efficiencies which translate into authorized positions we can eliminate (while looking out for the people).


     c. Hiring Freeze, Temp and Term Employee attrition. As you may already know, in an effort to reduce our on board strength, we have frozen normal hiring actions. We have also reduced our temporary employees and once our current Term employee’s term runs out, we are not allowed to extend it or backfill against it.


     d. Voluntary and directed reassignment are options. The strategy is to move people who are currently in overhire positions into authorized vacancies. The default setting will be on doing this on a competitive basis; directed reassignment will be the exception to the rule. It will be a fair and competitive process.


     e. Mock RIF.  We will conduct a Mock RIF. This is a planning tool that will allow us all to make informed decisions vs. uninformed decisions. While this process isn’t exact, it will give both you and me an indication as to which positions and people might be affected in a RIF situation. What this allows us to do is make informed decisions as to whether Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay programs are good options for you and us. It is important to understand that conducting a mock RIF doesn’t mean there will be a RIF, and the results of a mock RIF may not necessarily be the same as an actual RIF.


     f. Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. We will offer both of these programs. We will use the results of the Mock RIF to guide us in this process. The guidance we have received right now is to offer this liberally. The approval authority for this resides with Mrs. Zedalis, the IMCOM Pacific Regional Director.


     g. IMCOM Enterprise Placement Program. This is a website that lists all authorized vacancies throughout IMCOM. People can compete for these positions and Permanent Change of Station is funded by the garrison.


     h. Outplacement. Outplacement is when we partner with other Garrisons and Department of Defense organizations within our commuting area in order to place our impacted employees into vacancies within those organizations.




     - Apply all the tools above.


     - Conduct our Mock RIF as soon as possible, against our worst case scenario manning document. This allows us the widest look at who might be affected not just now, but in the future should any further cuts be dictated to us.


     - Union will be involved in this process and will have total access to results.


     - Offer Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay programs.


     - Communicate


     - Listen to your concerns and address them


Conclusion: I can’t stress enough how important this is to me personally, and to all of our leadership within Team Wainwright.  The fact is some of us will be affected by these cuts. I want you to know that I don’t buy into the belief of acceptable losses and I don’t take any reduction in authorizations or people lightly.

We all know these are people’s lives we talking about, not just numbers. If I put this in terms I am used to dealing with on the battle field, 1 loss matters.

Some people may say that cutting some position or suffering one casualty isn’t that bad. That is unless you are the one killed, or the one who just lost their job, or if you are the leader who lost a soldier or an employee.


The bottom line is that you need to understand we will do everything in our power to take care of our team.


What are your questions and concerns?


Important information


All DoD civilian employees are encouraged to update resumes and review personnel files. Fort Wainwright Garrison Commander, COL Ronald M. Johnson said as more information becomes available or if the situation changes it will be shared with to the widest extent possible and as soon as possible.  Additional questions can be submitted through the employee’s chain of command, their union representatives, or anonymously via the Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) comments to the Public Affairs Office at Updates will be shared on employment portals and will be posted on the Fort Wainwright website and PAO Facebook page at


Department of the Army IMCOM employees may view a listing of open positions online at the IMCOM Enterprise Placement Program - The list will be updated on a regular basis.


Important Information for Garrison employees


Over the next two weeks all Garrison employees need to ensure their information in MyBiz is accurate.  MyBiz contains a summary of information maintained in the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS).  This summary does not reflect everything contained in your Official Personnel Folder (OPF).  If you submitted changes previously that have not been incorporated, contact your Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC) for guidance.  Data will not normally be updated unless it is documented in the OPF.


Important information for you to review: Service Computation Date (SCD) for RIF (it may be different than your SCD for Leave), Tenure, Performance Appraisal history (review the last five years) and your Veteran's Preference for RIF.  If these items are in question, supporting documentation must be submitted to CPAC for review and update.


Instructions on how to get into MyBiz is available online at


Submit your supporting documentation to Anne Miller in building 1045 room 7.  If you have questions call 353-7208.


Bill Ward, President of American Federation Government Employees, Local 1834, can be reached at 353-7299 or emailed at


AFGE local 1834’s webpage will have links to resources and information -



To learn more about civilian workforce management programs, visit the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay program webpage at


Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay website:


Submit questions, comments and suggestions anonymously or request a response (contact information needed) via Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE)*DoD


Or use the form on our website – 




Fort Wainwright Garrison Commander
Town Hall Talking Points
12-16 DEC 2011