Letter: Army should tackle wasteful practices at home

Regarding “Partnership for Public Service creates leadership institute for innovation”: It is a shame that there isn't better oversight of the waste of taxpayer dollars. That’s another reason why the Army should centralize all training, temporary-duty assignments, and selections for job vacancies and promotions. Create a board at the department level and do away with local authorities. There is too much cheating. That way there won't even be an appearance of cheating, nepotism or other impropriety.

My understanding was that the Army is using Lean Six Sigma as its business model. This subject is a good place for the Army to reduce waste and better use its resources.

However, I do not see Lean Six Sigma being a process tool under the concept at work. Perhaps there are managers who do not know how to apply Lean Six Sigma or know what requirements should be measured and identified as improvement matrix mechanisms. I was a first-line supervisor at Ford Motor Co. and fully trained in Lean Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement Work Groups, 5S and value stream maps. All the important data was viewed on a daily basis. Contrary to some people’s understanding, Lean Six Sigma spans every aspect of a workplace: jobs, people, injuries, illnesses due to environmental issues and measurable statistics based on real data.

I now work at a small heliport that is managed by a GS-13, with a GS-11 deputy heliport manager, four air traffic assistants and four GS-10 air traffic controllers. Because it is a small heliport, why are there a GS-13 and a GS-11? We don't even need the tower because it doesn’t provide services beyond the small heliport airspace. It is a joke. Now, that is waste. There is barely enough work for a couple of the air traffic assistants. There is a lot of job security eyewash going on and now is the time to put a stop to it.

It is a lopsided work environment in which the positions I mentioned work under Installation Management Command. Three air traffic assistant GS-2154s are not really air traffic assistants, and are working in misclassified positions under the military command. However, we perform 80 percent of all work among the 2154s. I have an answer: It is an election year. An air traffic control tower paying a lot of money only operates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If the Army wants to eliminate waste, start over here, not overseas. I can see no reason why the Army isn't "walking the talk."


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