KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – As a principal advisor to the brigade, when she talks people listen. And if they don’t, they should start.
Christine Schneider is the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s local national workforce labor advisor. She said most managers and leaders who have been in the brigade for a while know what she provides. But not all.
There are some managers – especially new managers who come from other locations – who find out from outside organizations, said Schneider.
“These outside organizations say to them ‘oh, by the way, you have your own labor advisor. Why don’t you contact her?’ And I’m thinking – ‘yeah,’” said Schneider, who has been with the 405th AFSB for more than three years.
“There are many regulations that govern our local national workforce, and I’m the expert,” said Schneider, who worked for International Programs and Policies at U.S. Army Europe’s Civilian Personnel Directorate for seven years before coming to the 405th AFSB. “I’m the go to person when it comes to assisting managers when they are not completely sure how to deal with certain situations regarding their local national workforce and host nation labor laws.”
“Anything labor relations – especially when it comes to host nation regulations and policies – I’m here to help. I will try to answer all questions and concerns. If I can’t provide an answer, I know the people who can,” said Schneider, who holds a master’s degree in political science and another in human resources with an emphasis on law.
Schneider’s duties include being a liaison between the local national workforce and the brigade’s leadership. She advises the commander as well as all managers and leaders within the 405th AFSB on host nation regulations and policies in regard to the local national workforce. In addition, Schneider – who was born and raised in Ramstein, Germany – is the 405th AFSB’s representative at the local works council and the district works council.
“If a manager hears something but is not 100 percent sure that’s the way it should be done, they should reach out to me. I can either confirm or deny. Or maybe there is something that has not been thought about?” said Schneider.
Schneider said she tries to ensure everyone is aware of the differences between local national labor laws in Germany and Europe and those in the United States.
“I understand that most of our Army leaders and supervisors come from the U.S., and things are different. Some things may be similar, but they’re also different,” said the former University of Arizona international counselor. “Sometimes there are issues that need to be addressed because if they’re not, they can cause problems – at least challenges.”
Schneider has two daughters – Francesca, age 13, and Charlotta, age 9. She said she enjoys working at the 405th AFSB because she enjoys people.
“If you don’t like people, you can’t really do this job because you have to be able to talk to people and help them,” said Schneider, who was a teacher for disadvantaged youth and worked for an organization who assisted people of diverse backgrounds with their career choices before accepting a position with the Army.
“I like working for the Army, and I think the 405th AFSB is a great organization,” said Schneider, who is also the president of the German-American International Women's Club in Kaiserslautern. “I’m very glad that I came from the headquarters to the field – so to speak – because here there’s this hands-on mentality, and I see the direct effects my advice has on management and how it helps the organization get better day by day.”