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By Derrik Noack
USMEPCOM hosted the Battalion Executive Director (ED) conference Aug. 9-11. Bringing together all 12 Battalion EDs, the conference was the first of its kind since the position was established five years ago.
The command’s Civilian Personnel Division organized the conference based off input from Battalion EDs. The Civilian Personnel Division is part of the J-1 Human Resources Directorate.
“While planning this conference, we asked EDs for topics they would like to be discussed,” said Mary Grant, chief, Civilian Personnel Division. “While soliciting feedback, open discussions were preferred over PowerPoint presentations. Therefore, we planned for three days of open discussions, focusing on the communication aspects of their job.”
Battalion EDs serve as the principal staff advisor to the Battalion Commander and are responsible for all administration and logistics functions in support of MEPS daily operations.
“From the J-1 perspective, the EDs are our ‘reach out and touch’ personnel,” said Grant. “This conference will not only enhance the interactions between them and J-1, but also build their relationships with each other. They are all doing the same work. By meeting in person, they become more comfortable with asking each other for assistance when needed.”
A major focus over the three-day conference was examining the ED position description. Round table discussions opened up conversations on what duties and responsibilities are effectively being executed at the battalion level.
“This group is not lacking in experience, they know how things affect each other,” said Joe Stepro, director, J-1. “From these discussions, we will build a more standardized approach to their position description.”
Attendees were excited about the opportunity to visit headquarters, meet each other and leave with a better understanding of their position.
“This conference was a wonderful idea and something us EDs have been wanting for a long time,” said Joseph Maenza, ED, 2nd Battalion. “A lot of things that were undefined in our job are being defined. All of us will now get to go back to our battalions and operate on the same sheet of music.”