News: Show me the money: Financial leaders come together to discuss lessons learned
Story by Cpl. Ryan Hohman
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Whether in the mountains in Afghanistan or training the Iraqi Security Forces in Baghdad, soldiers rely heavily on their equipment, training and living conditions.
Financial leaders throughout Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan attended a financial management conference at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait Oct. 28-29 to discuss lessons learned throughout fiscal year 2010 so they can continue effectively cutting cost transparency and responsibility throughout the Army.
“During the conference we will discuss what assets we have, that we are helping to meet the goal of ensuring commanders have what they need, but at the same time ensure we are being good stewards to the taxpayers money,” said Brig. Gen. Robert McCaleb, who serves as the assistant chief of staff, finance, for Third Army and host for the financial management conference.
The conference was able to act as a platform for discussion allowing the leaders to discuss their experiences from the field. This allowed the attendees to build plans to better shape the Third Army’s financial future by saving money but still getting the equipment and supplies to the Warfighter.
“We structured this conference to be at the end of the fiscal year 2010 so we could get everyone together and talk about what we have learned throughout the year,” said McCaleb. “This conference is a team building exercise so we come together to discuss what we can do to improve the Army’s audit ability in fiscal year 2011.”
During the conference the Honorable Mary S. Matiella, assistant secretary of the Army, financial management and comptroller, spoke with financial leaders in attendance to discuss the importance of ensuring their financial processes run as smoothly as possible.
“We need to keep our ears open to requirements. What is it the Warfighter needs to make sure they can save lives?” said Matiella. “We need to ensure that the Warfighter gets what they need, not that you have contracted for it, not that you have planned for it, but that they get it.”
The leaders hope the conference will improve their processes of supporting the Warfighter.
“The soldiers may not directly see the affects of the conference,” said McCaleb. “What they will see is the improvement of their equipment, training and living conditions.”
As the conference comes to a close, the financial leaders will be able to take what they have learned and not only shape Third Army’s future, but the Army as a whole, by sustaining the force effectively, while conserving the cost and being fiscally accountable.