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MCIEAST IG team inspects 36 MCLB Albany programs

By Colie Young | | June 3, 2010

The Commanding General Inspection Team from Marine Corps Installations East inspected three dozen areas at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany during a three-day visit from May 24-26.

The Marine Corps inspection process is driven by the inspector general of the Marine Corps, who conducts inspections of organizations Marine Corps-wide and reports their findings back to the commandant.

Part of the IG inspection includes their review of a command inspection program, where an inspection team from a major command conducts scheduled inspections of their subordinate commands, and reports their findings back to the commanding general, which was the purpose this CGI visit, officially called CGI 1-10.

The Marine Corps’ inspector general has identified 114 functional areas that are reviewable for IG inspections Marine Corps-wide; however, not all 114 areas apply to every organization. That is determined by the mission of an organization, in which MCLB Albany possesses 81 functional areas out of the 114.

Before the CGI 1-10 visit, the CGI at MCIEAST designated 36 areas out of 81 to be inspected at MCLB Albany. This information was included in an official notification from the commanding general, three days before the actual visit.

Like all IG inspections, the CGI is a short notice/no notice inspection; therefore, preparation time is minimized, allowing the inspection team to observe an accurate “snap shot” of daily routine program activity and functionality, according to Donnie Baggs, command inspector general, MCLB Albany.

“This is the commandant’s way of taking a pulse of the fleet. Basically, all of the things that we do on these checklists eventually will affect and support that Marine on the ground – on the front line,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Carpenter, deputy command inspector general, MCIEAST.

“If something’s broke back in the rear (units not deployed), then maybe we can offer them a rudder steer to help them get back on course,” he said.

Contrary to popular belief, IG inspections are not punitive events, but rather it’s a learning process where both the inspectors and those inspected have opportunities to learn and grow, Carpenter stressed.

According to Jim Rohn, operations officer, MCIEAST, everyone at MCLB Albany has been cooperative, hospitable and extremely helpful during the process.

“It’s a welcome thing for us to come out and have a command welcome us with open arms because we all know people don’t like to get inspected. It’s good to have people open their doors and not hide anything,” Rohn said. “We’re not here to beat anybody up. We’re here to help.

“These inspections are important because we are the direct representatives of the commanding general,” Rohn continued, “so we are out here to ensure that all policies and procedures and regulations are being upheld.

“We also recognize excellence,” he added. “Many times the commanding officer already knows those areas that are performing well, but when you get that second set of eyes from the outside area to say the same thing, that gives reconfirmation that people are doing exceptionally well in their areas.”

Carpenter echoed his operations officer’s sentiments and added, “Policies always change, and sometimes the actual units may not always be up on the newest policy. This is not necessarily due to any misconduct or oversight, but sometimes we get so busy that we just may not be up on the new changes.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure everyone is aware of those changes and make sure they’re pushed out to the other IG shops and that they’re pushing them out to the personnel responsible for those particular tabs,” the deputy IG said.

Carpenter pointed out that a typical IG inspection can take two days or more, depending on how many areas are being inspected and the number of issues that arise.

“We scheduled this inspection for a day and a half, and we were done in one day,” he said. “The duration really depends on the proficiency of the units being inspected. If there are any problems or issues, sometimes that causes the inspection to drag out. If they’re spot on, the inspection can take as little as an hour from the time the inspectors sit down with counterparts.”

Following the inspection, on May 26, base personnel gathered in the base commanding officer’s conference room for the out-brief and an awards presentation by Carpenter.

“We’ve brought our commanding general’s coin with us to recognize individuals who receive a noteworthy rating for performing above and beyond the requirements on the checklist,” Carpenter said.

Petty officer third class Justin Stapleton, medical records section, Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany, was the lone individual to receive a noteworthy citation.

For his outstanding efforts, Stapleton received a commanding general’s coin from the deputy command inspector general.

“Receiving a CG’s coin was certainly a surprise. This was a total group effort, everyone here worked really hard in preparation for this – I just had a small part,” Stapleton said.

“From the top down, this is definitely the best group I’ve worked with since I joined the Navy five and a half years ago,” he continued. “I feel privileged to work with such dedicated people.”