Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs sets conditions for future success with new strategic plan

DETROIT, MI, UNITED STATES
11.21.2019
Story by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton
Michigan National Guard  

DETROIT, Mich. – “This is all about being accountable, this is about understanding one another. This is about understanding our priorities, charting our course, and moving forward purposefully.”

Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, opened the DMVA’s first annual Leadership Conference and Industry Day with a clear message for all members of the organization, which includes the Michigan Army National Guard, the Michigan Air National Guard, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Administration, Michigan Veterans Homes, and State Operations.

“I want you to leave after this conference with a couple things in mind; one is that you’re a very important member of a much larger team,” said Rogers. “This weekend is focused on sharing information with you, being accountable to you, and making sure you’re getting the answers you need so that when you leave here, you can go back and be successful – because everyone in this organization matters.”

Rogers addressed more than 400 senior and mid-tier leaders of the department’s approximately 12,000 federal and civilian employees. Also present were partners from Michigan-based defense industries, all joining together over Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 9-10) at Detroit’s TCF Center to take part as Rogers and other DMVA senior leaders unveiled a new, 244-page strategic plan, designed over the past ten months to define a holistic organizational structure for the department and clearly pinpoint a pathway to success for each of its members to follow.

One core value anchors the new strategy, which Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defined at the conference in her marquee remarks.

“In Michigan, we consider those who serve in the armed forces to be members for life, and this means that for our brave men and women who make this commitment to our country, our commitment is strong – and it starts the day you start your term of service,” she said. “It means providing long-term comprehensive support after your term of service and ensuring your long-term needs are met with dignity and that your loved ones are supported in their time of need, because I know that they serve as well.”

A formal ball was also held Saturday evening, celebrating achievements of the past year and offering an opportunity for civilian and military leaders to come together in a social setting to expand conversations generated by the conference. U.S. Senator Gary Peters delivered a keynote address at the ball, underscoring Michigan’s great legacy as a provider of solutions for the nation’s defense needs, beginning during World War II, when Michigan’s massive industry complex included the production of one B-24 bomber an hour at the Ford Willow Run plant.

“Michigan is not only the Arsenal of Democracy, but also the Arsenal of Innovation. Many of the technologies required to realize the Department of Defense’s modernization efforts are being developed right here in our universities, our businesses, and in the Army Research Labs,” said Peters. “The next generation combat vehicle is being developed at the Detroit Arsenal, and I know that Michigan will once again be looked upon as the muscle needed to build the future of ground combat systems.”

Peters also noted Michigan’s viability as a potential base for the latest generation of air combat technology, including the F-35 Lightning II.

Obtaining future capabilities based on emerging technologies and defense industry gaps is only one of the six strategic goals outlined in the DMVA’s strategy, but it is central to department’s vision as the premier state for advancing military readiness and serving veterans and their families.

“Provider of exceptional service, leader of innovative solutions, cornerstone of Michigan’s communities, a workplace of choice and center of performance excellence – those are our key identities,” Rogers told the conference assembly. “It is our desire that at the end of the day, this is how [people internal and external to our organization] describe us.”

While the framework has been outlined by department leaders, its success relies on the choice of those at all levels to execute it. Rogers underscored that because each member of the department is a critical member of the larger team, all must read, understand, and identify where their efforts nest and best meet the intent of the strategy. It is a daunting challenge, but with commitment and hard work, the promise of a great victory for all to share is within reach.

“I know you all are here because you want to win,” said Rogers. “You’re here because you want to be part of the best military the world has ever known. We naturally want to be winners; it’s our obligation to you that we organize ourselves so that we can win.”

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/352785/michigan-department-military-and-veterans-affairs-sets-conditions-future-success-with-new-strategic-plan

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