Garrison talk

Col. Hank Perry, Fort Hood garrison commander, talks to Department of Army civilians in February about the garrison’s authorized civilian workforce, which has shrunk to 1,108.

Fort Hood has to get rid of 46 civilian employees by the start of the next fiscal year to meet its authorized garrison workforce of 1,108 employees. It doesn’t mean layoffs are coming, but early retirement offers are likely.

The news came in a series of town hall meetings at Fort Hood earlier this month.

“We’re here to talk about what has happened in the past … the lessons learned along the way … and to communicate what we’re doing, to be transparent,” Col. Hank Perry, Fort Hood’s garrison commander, said in his opening remarks to more than 500 employees at one of those town halls, according to an article in the Fort Hood Sentinel.

The shedding of jobs stems from Army’s cut of 113 civilian positions during the current fiscal year from U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hood, which includes the post’s police, fire, building maintenance and other services.

The garrison’s authorized civilian workforce shrunk from 1,221 to 1,108 — a number Fort Hood has to meet by Oct. 1.

Normal attrition, such as retirement or employee moves to positions at other installations, has not lowered workforce levels enough, according to the Sentinel. Perry said the unit still has 46 more employees than authorized positions for the next fiscal year. The cuts do not include Army and Air Force Exchange employees on post or Department of Army civilians in other units.

To get there, the garrison command beginning in March will identify “employees who would be impacted,” Perry said, part of what the military calls a “mock RIF.”

An RIF is short for “reduction in force” — a series of steps to reduce the workforce in the military. A “mock RIF” is a similar series of steps, but does not mean terminations are imminent.

The plan also calls for allowing employees voluntary early retirement.

Keith Gogas, the garrison’s deputy to the commander and the top civilian in the unit, told the Sentinel the process will assist the command and the employees as it helps identify which employees may be in danger of losing their jobs.

“We’re not the only garrison going through this,” Gogas said. | 254-501-7468 | 254-501-7468

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