Garrison Commander Col. John Misenheimer Jr. briefs on the economic impact of the Fort Leavenworth Garrison, including its budget and payment to Garrison employees, during the Garrison All-Hands meeting with the new command team March 9 at the Post Theater. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter/Staff Writer

The Fort Leavenworth Garrison Command Team conducted its first all-hands meeting to recognize the workforce, review survey feedback and answer questions about current regulations and the installation March 9 at the Post Theater.

Garrison Commander Col. John Misenheimer Jr., Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Erika Rhine-Russell and Deputy to the Garrison Commander Johnny Bevers congratulated 12 civilians for civil service milestones ranging from 10- to 40-year careers. The team also thanked Garrison professionals for their roles in community events and ensuring workforce safety.

Survey Feedback

Misenheimer presented findings from the Defense Organizational Climate Survey to provide transparent feedback and encourage participation. The confidential survey measures workplace approval ratings, leadership and risk factors in the workforce. Misenheimer said about 32 percent of Garrison employees responded to the most recent DECOS survey.

Garrison Commander Col. John Misenheimer Jr. briefs on the economic impact of the Fort Leavenworth Garrison, including its budget and payment to Garrison employees, during the Garrison All-Hands meeting with the new command team March 9 at the Post Theater. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Misenheimer said the top three factors with the highest approval ratings to sustain in the Garrison include high connectedness among staff, a work-life balance and employee engagement and commitment.

He said the three factors with the lowest approval ratings are high morale, fair treatment and transformational leadership. Misenheimer said low approval ratings in morale are a direct reflection of leadership. He said leaders should consider methods to improve communication and predictability.

He also identified the top three risk factors with the highest unfavorable ratings for the overall unit as moderate to high stress, the presence of sexually harassing behaviors and toxic leadership (of all immediate supervisors). Misenheimer attributes stress in the workforce to a labor shortage, COVID-19-related issues and other risk factors. He also stressed zero tolerance for sexually harassing behaviors and toxic leadership.

Misenheimer identified issues with the presence of racially harassing, sexist and sexually harassing behaviors. He said that any presence of these issues is unacceptable and asked the audience to be aware of how others receive them. He also said the Garrison is creating a leadership development program to mitigate such experiences.

Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Erika Rhine-Russell reviews spring and summer severe weather preparedness, including siren responsibilities and available shelters on post, to Garrison employees during the Garrison All-Hands meeting March 9 at the Post Theater. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

He said the Garrison Command Team advocates for more personal responsibility, strong leadership, digital learning, honesty and transparency, communication and training.

“The main thing is I fully believe in positive reinforcement. I want to focus on also what we do right and what we do as best practices so we can spread those around all throughout our organization and we can be cohesive,” Misenheimer said.

Assessment Feedback

Bevers presented results from the enhanced Army Readiness Assessment Program survey, an assessment of the unit’s safety climate and functionality. He said 474 Garrison professionals completed the survey.

Bevers said the top five question scores are comparable to overall Army averages. The top question scores suggest employees agree that they have adequate training for the safe conduct of work tasks/functions, organization leaders enforce the use of personal protective equipment, the organization has a reputation for high-quality performance, leaders encourage reporting safety discrepancies, and safety policies are clearly defined.

Bevers also addressed how the organization is evaluating performance, training and reporting safety data in each category of work hazard listed by Garrison professionals during the survey. He also suggested training resources for people interested in expanding knowledge on hazards such as ammunition and explosives or emergency management, and said safety meetings will be conducted more frequently.

Severe Weather Awareness

Rhine-Russell reviewed spring and summer severe weather reminders, including siren responsibilities, preparedness resources and standard changes in activities.

Deputy to the Garrison Commander Johnny Bevers shares insights from the enhanced Army Readiness Assessment Program survey during the Garrison All-Hands meeting March 9 at the Post Theater. The most recent survey evaluating safety standards in the Garrison had 474 respondents. Photo by Charlotte Richter/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

She said each building on post has a designated shelter and tornado plan.

Emergency shelters available during duty hours are the Post Office, Wagner Hall, Funston Hall, McNair Hall and MacArthur Elementary School, with limitations to customers, visitors, students and staff.

Community shelters always available to everyone include Munson Army Health Center, the Single Soldier Quarters, and the Lewis and Clark Center. Pets are not allowed in any of the shelters on post.

She said Fort Leavenworth is conducting a full-scale exercise April 12 to test installation readiness and resilience during tornado events and spring weather preparedness. She said units and families should have preparedness plans ready in the case of a natural disaster.

The Garrison Command Team also answered questions about pay scales, the continuation of the COVID-19 mask mandate based on Leavenworth County risk assessment, staffing difficulties with the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and difficulty staffing Hancock Gate.

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