AURORA, Colorado — From May 7 – 8, 2021, Col. Mark P. Dedrick, commander of 1st Brigade and his staff from all sections underwent a virtual initial command inspection, led by 104th Training Division Commanding General Brig. Gen. Rodney J. Fischer.
The initial command inspection is required for all unit commanders within 180 days after assuming command. The objective of this inspection was twofold: to assess command readiness and to measure compliance with regulatory requirements, and determine the effectiveness of the subordinate staff functions in the areas of management of personnel, recruiting & retention, logistics, operations, finance, training, automation, force planning, and intelligence.
Additionally, the inspection is designed to provide the commanding general with a measure of performance of the brigade, and identify any systemic problems that affect the overall readiness of the 104th. An example of the inspection and findings included the importance of ensuring redundancies in responsibilities as personnel move out of the unit to maintain continuity of operations.
The selected key areas of the brigade headquarters element were assessed and evaluated by their respective division HQ staff principles.
During the inspection, checklists and established policies were disseminated to all brigade staff sections that were used to assess compliance and oversight requirements in accordance with AR 1-201, Army Inspection Policy. Upon receipt of the inspection checklists (about 60 days prior to execution) staff section officers-in-charge and noncommissioned officers-in-charge immediately began brainstorming and assigning tasks to subordinates, while sending requests for information to the division for clarification and completion. The Military Decision-Making Process was fully incorporated throughout the entire preparation.
The virtual environment presented unique challenges to successfully executing the ICI. The brigade and its division counterparts used Microsoft Teams, phone calls, and emails to ensure a free flow of communication and timely completion of the inspection process. The brigade’s deputy commanding officer, Lt. Col. Reginald T. Eggleston, along with the supervisory staff administrator, Ms. Krystal J. Florquist, were decisive in executing no less than three in-progress reviews to ensure all staff sections were on the proper path to successful execution.
By the time the inspection went live, the brigade commander and command sergeant major were well aware of the expected outcome and gaps needing to be addressed. This multifaceted inspection approach enabled staff principles to make corrective actions where needed, fostering an environment of coaching, teaching, and training brigade staffs.
At the conclusion of the inspection, the commanding general was provided a snapshot in time of 1st Brigade’s command readiness posture and oversight support, while brigade and division counterparts were able to make effective interpersonal connections, thereby enhancing the overall mission of the brigade and division.