Story by Tim Hanson on 08/27/2019NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. - The importance of onboarding led the United States Army Security Assistance Command to launch a New Employee Orientation Program. Spearheaded by the USASAC New Cumberland office, the two-day course ensures new hires receive an understanding of the Department of Defense and how USASAC fits into the big picture.
"We felt the need to explain all of that to them. This is one of the most important things that we can do and that is to welcome people into the organization, show them what we are all about, how they fit into the big machine of National Defense and what their role is," said USASAC G4 Director Michael Casciaro.
The orientation program, held every month on the second Wednesday and Thursday, is required for every new hire regardless of position or grade. Now in its fifth iteration, around 15 percent of the current workforce at the New Cumberland location has been through the course.
During the training, employees receive information on the organization's policies and standards, including dress code, email etiquette and security measures. They also learn how to access various systems used by the command and the make-up of the G4 Directorate.
"It's important to show them what their roles are, as well as what the roles of the people sitting to their right and left are," said Casciaro.
For a complex command like USASAC, learning the organizational structure early on was helpful, said Anthony Nguyen, who completed the August session.
"This program has given me a good opportunity to get to know not only my co-workers, but also the upper management," said Nguyen.
Another critical part of the program is a Foreign Military Sales walking tour that used to be reserved for colonels or above. The two-hour tour winds through the building stopping at every branch or team that touches an FMS case.
"It helped me out a lot with the learning of the layout of the building. It definitely opens your eyes; you can see how everybody's job is vital throughout the process," says Chris Gray, who handles commercial repair and return cases.
The training is led by the G4 leadership team. The new hires hear first hand from case managers, to team chiefs, to division chiefs, to the director himself. Every leader within the New Cumberland office has a role in the orientation program.
"I think it's really great that they took the time to map out everything. I also think that it creates visibility, so if you see someone in the hallway, you have a name to the face to start up that conversation," said student trainee Grace Penney.
Upon completion of the course, all employees receive a binder to take with them. It contains all the information covered throughout the orientation as well as other handouts covering safety, emergency drills and numbers.
Because of the importance of retaining employees, the new orientation program was long overdue but USASAC won't stop there, we will also offer organizational training, along with a mentor program, said Casciaro.
"It is our duty to create a good impression. We want to develop them, we want to train them and we want to keep them here for a long time and move them up the ranks as far as their abilities and the needs of USASAC will allow," said Casciaro.