EDITOR’S NOTE – CSM Tamika L. DeVeaux, Adjutant General School and Regimental Command Sergeant Major, was the featured speaker at the AGCRA Carolina Chapter Breakfast on 14 February 2023 at Fort Jackson, SC. AGCRA is delighted to provide her remarks from the breakfast below.
Valentine’s Day greetings to all the members of the greatest Corps, the Adjutant General’s Corps. It is an honor to serve as your Adjutant General School and Regimental Command Sergeant Major. Given this special day, I wanted to comment on our love for the Adjutant General’s Corps and the Soldiers and families that we serve. The popular book written by Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages, describes how to express heartfelt commitment to our loved ones. So, I have taken those concepts (Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service) and identified the five love languages of an HR Professional.
I will begin with Quality Time. It costs to care. Often HR Professionals are the first to work and the last to leave. S1 and G1 sections truly don’t have office hours. We may post on the doors that we are closed for training, but if a Soldier knocks, we will answer to service that Soldier. When we service each customer, we value their time with genuine intentions to understand the services that they require. Quality conversations communicate that you care. We are the subject matter experts and our customers rely heavily on our expertise to assist them with all their personnel matters. Always strive towards perfecting your craft and never be afraid to say that you are not sure but will verify what the correct answer is. Giving improper guidance can result in losing credibility quickly. Invest Quality Time in processing all actions that come our way, always remember slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Quality Time often requires you to give up some individual activities, you will often do some things that you don’t particularly enjoy, but it will give you the pleasure of love taking care of Soldiers internal and external to your section and learning to speak the language of Quality Time.
Words of Affirmation. Be sure that you are properly counseling, evaluating, developing, coaching, teaching, and mentoring your Soldiers and the Soldiers that you service. All the things that I mentioned serve as a record of growth to see where we started and where we are going. Our Soldiers cannot grow if we don’t show them where they can improve and acknowledge their strengths. Establish a safe place in your section where your Soldiers feel free to raise their hands and say that they’ve made a mistake, or they need some help. You will create an environment where your Soldiers feel safe to be themselves. Occasionally we all need someone to say, “Wow! You did a good job.” Remember, a careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life, a timely word may lessen stress, a loving word may heal and bless. Words of Affirmation enhances relationships.
Gifts. As an HR Professional we are gifted daily when we process actions that come to our office, whether it is to recognize the Soldiers that we service, issuing a new ID card because of a promotion – in addition to the promotion, a great reason to get a new photo because we now must see it in IPPS-A every day. To see the happiness on their face is rewarding within itself. Let’s not forget about our Soldiers that are processing all these awards. Yes, it is their job but they’re doing it with dignity and respect, late or not, they’re getting the job done. We have great HR professionals out there. Take the time to recognize them by submitting them for awards immediately after they’ve accomplished something. This builds great character, and it shows our team that we care. A Gift is a tangible item that says, “I recognize you and what you do; the Team and I appreciate you.”
Physical Touch. Being physically present at physical fitness, showing up and showing out, being in the field, being by your Commander’s and Sergeant’s Major side to provide them with the information that they need. Attending BOSS meetings with your Soldiers. Physically checking on your Soldiers, physically walking through the barracks, physically conducting vehicle inspections. Physically being in the presence of your Soldiers when they’re providing customer service, showing your team where they can reference how to complete an action. Your Physical Presence shows that you care.
Acts of Service. Our Corps is distributed globally, and sometimes an HR professional may feel like they are on an island. However, we are fortunate to have organizations, associations, and professional groups that support you and our community. They encourage group development, teamwork, and esprit-de-corps. Acts of Service, such as participating and volunteering within your communities is a great way for you to express your love for our Corps and towards other HR professionals. We are all servant leaders, so give to others and perform good deeds. Actions speak louder than words. Conducting Acts of Service makes you feel deeply that to love means to serve. If acts of service do not come naturally for you, it is still a love language worth acquiring. It is a way of expressing a sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of others.
May you have a special day and a great February. I ask you this: What is your love language?
DEFEND AND SERVE!
CSM Tamika L. DeVeaux Adjutant General School and Regimental Command Sergeant Major