NEWS | Feb. 2, 2021

AMCOM CG discusses vaccine distribution, workforce diversity during virtual town hall

By Michelle Gordon U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command

The commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, along with AMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Dove hosted a virtual town hall Jan. 28 from AMCOM headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

The monthly event began with people first, as the leaders recognized AMCOM employees worldwide who were recognized as MVPs on their teams. They highlighted their individual accomplishments and thanked the workforce for their dedication to excellence.

The town hall also provided an update on new laptop distribution, budgeting and resources and changes to Army Regulation 670-1, which includes new guidance on Army uniforms and several other key changes.

However, the main topic was the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine arrival date and distribution plan.

Royar said AMCOM is following the same priority listing as the entire Department of Defense, which begins with those most at-risk, such as health care workers and emergency service providers. He noted that those inoculations have already begun and he encouraged the workforce to obtain as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision about receiving the vaccine, adding that it is their choice.

“It is completely voluntary and you can change your mind at any point but, if you do want it, we want to ensure that we’ve done the coordination so it’s available for you,” he said.

Dove agreed, adding, “The vaccine is absolutely not mandatory right now. Supervisors are using the vaccination distribution data call to survey employees and place them in the appropriate categories.”

The data call is for planning purposes only to ensure AMCOM receives the correct number of doses for everyone who would like to receive the vaccine; no personal protective information is being collected or reported at this time.

Royar said there is not yet clear visibility on the number of doses that will arrive at the various AMCOM installations. They are requesting employee interest in advance so when the vaccines do become available, they can get that information out as soon as possible.

“There are no repercussions for taking or not taking the vaccine, and we will absolutely protect all of your PII throughout this process,” said Dove.

Royar and Dove also presented statistics from the most recent diversity and inclusion report, Management Directive 715. The MD 715 compares all of AMCOM to the national labor force, with regard to representation and diversity in workforce race, ethnicity and gender.

Royar said while the numbers are comparative for ethnicity and race, there is a disparity in gender. The MD 715 reflects a larger number of male employees in the AMCOM workforce. He said that, while that has historically been the case due to a large number of male veterans in the aviation and missile communities, he is committed to leveling the bubbles.

“We recognize that this is a gap and disparity and want to make sure we have diversity across the board, not only diversity in demographics, but diversity in thought,” he said. “We are absolutely committed to that. We want to make sure that we have a very diverse workforce because that, quite frankly, makes us a better workforce.”

The full MD 715 is available on the AMCOM Command Information Portal.

After the presentations, Royar opened the virtual floor up for questions submitted in advance of the town hall as well as the ones received during the Facebook livestream.

The majority of the questions referenced the workforce returning to the office.

Royar stated the plan has not changed from the initial guidance, which will include a phased approach with ample notification. It will also be conditions-based with the local case rate and potentiality of vaccines affecting the timeline. He said he does not know when those conditions will be met.

“It will vary in accordance with the installation, and we will slowly bring folks back,” he said. “We will republish that same phased approach. It’s slow, it’s methodical, it takes into consideration those who want to come back first and it takes into consideration those who are higher risk.”

At the conclusion of the town hall Royar thanked the AMCOM workforce for their participation and their dedication and he reminded them that they matter because they support the warfighter.

“That Soldier who is potentially in harm’s way or prepared to go in harm’s way -- thank you for everything you do in support of her or him as we move forward.”

The full town hall video is available on the AMCOM Facebook page, @USARMYAMCOM