1st Theater Sustainment Command


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First Team HR specialist, a consummate team player

By Barbara Gersna | 1st Theater Sustainment Command | October 22, 2021

FORT KNOX, Ky. --

She’s been a member of 1st Theater Sustainment Command since November 2020, helping civilian employees onboard and ensuring accurate accounting for time and attendance and earned leave.

These are just a few of the things that Janet Laufenberg, human resource specialist, does here to assist civilian employees.

She also organizes training events, helps resolve issues with the Automated Time Attendance and Production System, as well as verifying and certifying these records every pay period, and can help correct leave hours. She is available to help employees set up their Department of Defense performance management and appraisal program, ensure records and data make it to their Army employee records and help answer benefit and retirement questions.

Laufenberg carries loads of knowledge gained from working in Army human resources for so many years.

“I like working for the Army and supporting troops because that’s what we ultimately do,” Laufenberg described.

She began working for the Army when she was a 19-year-old college student and has been at it ever since.

Not far from where Laufenberg grew up with nine siblings in rural Ontario, Wisconsin, she spent most of her career working for the Army Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin - doing similar work to what she does here.

Fort McCoy is now temporarily housing the largest group of Afghan refugees in the United States. Nearly 13,000 special visa applicants and their families are living at the fort while they are being medically evaluated and their paperwork is processed to remain in the U.S.

In May 2018, Laufenberg left Fort McCoy for Kentucky where she joined the Louisville CPAC and worked primarily with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She now lives in Louisville and is still discovering things to do in the city.

Laufenberg joined a bowling league at The Main Event when she moved here. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to that. She can still boast a 201 high game though. Since then, she’s golfed on a few courses in Louisville and hopes to try the course at Fort Knox.

A lifelong athlete, Janet played softball and volleyball in her youth. Now, when she’s not bowling or golfing, she spends time exercising at a gym or simply walking.

Laufenberg has a son, Colin, who just turned 26. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the health field and currently works at a medical facility in the Milwaukee area. When asked which Wisconsin football team do you root for?

“Colin is standing by his Vikings team each football season, while I back the Packers!” she said.

Laufenberg is happy that Colin makes it a point to go back to visit his grandmother as often as he can to stock up on homemade baked goods.

Helping others is something Laufenberg was taught by her parents.

“I remember Amish people coming to the house, and dad would drive them wherever they needed,” she shared. “He didn’t care what time of the day it was.”

Laufenberg has this same giving trait and has done a variety of volunteer and support work throughout her life. She joined the Sparta, Wisconsin, Women’s Club and helped raise money for the Save Second Base breast cancer research center at the University of Wisconsin.

“I enjoyed doing that and they invited us all to tour the facility which was really an amazing place,” she said.

She also bought supplies and clothing for children who needed a hand in Sparta and assisted with the local chamber of commerce.

“I enjoy helping others, and I like getting out and meeting other women in the community and being involved with the city,” Laufenberg said.

Laufenberg has volunteered here in Louisville too.

“When I first moved here, I had some time on my hands, so I volunteered helping with the Louisville Special Olympics,” she shared. “I grew up knowing that I can always help someone else.”

The three-plus decades experienced human resources professional has some advice for others working for the federal government.

“Be flexible and mobile,” she shared. “You should be willing to relocate or deploy when needed.”

She said that having that flexibility to move for a promotion is important. That’s one of the reasons she joined the 1st TSC. It provided her the opportunity for continued career progression.

Unity is part of what motivates Laufenberg to continue her government service.

“The Army has always had that message that we are all one, and we are here to support Soldiers,” she said.

“It’s been a pretty rewarding career working for the Army. It’s always fun hiring someone for a job they want, but it’s hard getting through something like a force reduction.”

Additional advice that Laufenberg is glad to share includes keeping yourself open to changing job series. She said that people are not locked in to a specific job and individuals may have experience if they want a change. She also recommends people find either a formal or informal mentor to help guide them throughout their careers.

“Stick with it and put yourself out there,” Laufenberg said about federal service.

Stop by her office on the first floor and visit Laufenberg with any human resources question you might have or for a friendly chat about bowling.