News>Outgoing commander recalls personal, professional transformation of ARPC
Brig. Gen. Jay Flournoy, Air Reserve Personnel Center commander, and Chief
Master Sgt. Brian Wong, ARPC command chief, present the ARPC Airman of the
Year award to Senior Airman Sean Cooper. Flournoy honored ARPC's 2012
Outstanding Performers of the Year as well as their A1 annual award winners
during commander's call today. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett)
Brig. Gen. Jay Flournoy, Air Reserve Personnel Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Wong, ARPC command chief, present the ARPC Team of the Year award to the retirements branch team. Flournoy honored ARPC’s 2012 Outstanding Performers of the Year as well as their A1 annual award winners during commander’s call today.
The team included: Debra Weule, Steve Vashon, Forest Cupples, Debra Floyd, Partricia Rosas, Lisa Vedder, Karen Jonasson, Judy Cupples, Sophia Brunt, Deborah King, Teri Eastman, Sharon Apps, Linda Higgins, Chris Fowler, John Gasbarro, John French, Edie Wallin-Sanchez, Gloria Roberts, Carol Givens, Robert Poe, Carole Packham, Sue Henderson, Tech. Sgt. Eric Grizzell, Tech. Sgt. David Bader and Senior Airman Sean Cooper. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett)
Lt. Gen. James “JJ” Jackson, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the Air Force Reserve Command, passes the Air Reserve Personnel Center guidon to Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy, Jr., incoming ARPC commander, during a change of command ceremony on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 25. General Flournoy was the 349th Air Mobility Wing Commander at Travis AFB, Calif., before assuming command of ARPC. Outgoing commander, Col. Patricia S. Blassie, relinquished command of the center to serve at the Air Force Reserve Command as the chief of the Professional Development Center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett)
Brig. Gen. Jay Flournoy accepts a gift from the Air Reserve Personnel Center Chief's Group during a going away luncheon Oct. 23, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Quinn Jacobson)
by Master Sgt. Christian Michael
Air Reserve Personnel Center Public Affairs
10/24/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Brig. Gen. Jay Flournoy commanded Air Reserve Personnel Center for almost ten months. During this brief time, he led the center through periods of uncertainty and major transitions in the DNA of its operations, impacting Guard and Reserve members across the globe.
"After I first found out that I was coming to ARPC, and as a wing commander, I wasn't aware of the changes that were getting ready to happen and that I was going to have to deal with them when I got here," Flournoy said, who oversaw the standup of Human Capital Transformation and the new Active Guard Reserve assignment office. "But ... our team has put together this plan to ensure that the Human Capital Transformation is done on time and on budget. It's been pretty fantastic."
The general detailed that despite the need to restructure certain positions in ARPC to match new and evolving requirements, erecting new programs ahead of schedule and merging missions from units based across the country has been a challenge; the men and women of ARPC rose to it.
"We're been able to get through (these challenges) with no problems," Flournoy said. "We've got some incredible young NCOs that are doing some fantastic work, taking ownership of the process and finding more efficient and effective ways of getting things done."
The challenges weren't merely the planned tasks of merging and development, but also managing a force during a time of governmental and budgetary uncertainty.
"I think the biggest challenge we've seen in the short time that I've been here is the effects of sequestration and dealing with a (U.S. Congressional) continuing resolution, trying to maintain mobilization, morale, in very difficult times," Flournoy said. "The most rewarding (thing) is, that despite those problems, the attitude of our personnel has been absolutely fantastic. People have come together, pulled together, to take care of their fellow Wingman ... to make things happen and to ensure that the customer wasn't adversely impacted by these decisions."
His time at ARPC was not merely an increase in responsibility, but also an opportunity for his own development. He considered it an opportunity for personal growth, but credits people for the satisfaction of his experience.
"As an operator, coming into here, I have been given some tremendous education by professionals here at the center," he said. "It has been an absolute pleasure working with the people, and watching them overcome these hurdles and not look back. My mom always said, in moving around the country, 'Every assignment is what you make of it.' And it's because of the people, and not necessarily because of the mission, that's what you'll remember. And that's what I'll miss the most...the people."
To those people he will miss the most, he wanted to make sure they knew his regard for them.
"Thanks for your sacrifice, especially in times like these like we're going through today," he said. "People are getting opportunities here at the center that they never thought they would have had here in the past with the change that's going on here. And people are just flourishing and doing a fantastic job. I just really appreciate everything that they've done."