Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
mobilizing units and their Soldiers even set foot on Fort McCoy, they
are already under the guidance, leadership and training of Fort McCoy’s
Mobilization Assistance Team (MAT).
Master Sgt. Dirk Rigsby (left)
and Maj. Robert Pilkin study one of the Mobilization Assistance
Team’s sync matrix training schedules. Pilkin is the MAT OIC
and Rigsby is the MAT NCOIC. (Photo
by Tom Michele)
MAT is the link between the unit, the unit’s Soldiers and the
Training Support Brigade. The MAT provides guidance to units training
before coming to McCoy, during mob training at McCoy and then to the
units and Soldiers before departure for deployment overseas.
deal primarily with the mobilizing unit’s leadership — the
commander and first sergeant — and their peacetime higher
headquarters," said Maj. Robert Pilkin, officer-in-charge (OIC)
from his office in the Mobilization Unit In-Processing Center (MUIC).
"This coordination lays the groundwork for the unit and its
Soldiers to arrive at our mob station with the premobilization
requirements as complete as possible. That is much of what we are
lot of those requirements are working to have a Soldier’s personnel,
medical, dental and training records up-to-date and complete, along
with legal, financial, family services and chaplain’s briefings
complete, all documented and signed off at their home station before
heading to the Wisconsin Army installation.
we did all of that here at McCoy," Pilkin noted. Now it is being
completed in pre-mob training at their home station and before coming
to McCoy. "That’s part of the Army’s desire to have Soldiers
spending more of their boots-on-the-ground time in-theater and a
little less at the mobilization station."
liaison officer (LNO) is sent to the unit’s home station during
their battle assemblies and any extended combat training periods the
units conduct between the unit’s alert order date and their mob
date. The McCoy LNOs assist the unit in preparing a lot of the
paperwork necessary to be completed prior to the unit’s departure to
the mob station. That paperwork includes medical and dental
evaluations and screening, establishing a Family Readiness Group,
ensuring training records and legal preparations are set up,
establishing lodging plans, developing an alert roster, ensuring
personnel have security clearances, ensuring notification has been
made to Soldiers to report to home station on designated dates and
assisting with Soldier financial readiness issues.
the mob station, the LNO coaches and mentors the mobilizing unit,
advising the unit about correct training procedures, maintaining the
training schedule and ensuring the myriad of records are kept up to
date. The LNO is the MAT OIC’s direct link to the unit and is
responsible for the accountability of the unit’s training records
and validation binders.
are the communications and information hub for mobilizing units and
the training support battalions, higher headquarters and the McCoy
installation so units know who to call — us — and get the
information they need," Pilkin said.
the MAT’s backwoods work doesn’t end as Soldiers come through
McCoy’s Main Gate for the first time. The MAT keeps very close
contact with the units and Soldiers through their training at McCoy
until they are on the aircraft flying out of Volk Field.
are several seven-foot high piles of boxes in a MUIC office with
copies of the training records of every unit and Soldier going through
the McCoy mob process. "We keep the records for five years,"
Sgt. Dirk Rigsby, the MAT noncommissioned OIC, said, "We monitor
the unit and Soldiers from when they get their alert orders, so we can
start putting the pieces together, through and to their post-mob
training, all something we continually refine."
MAT also is a "connecting link between the unit and First
Army," Rigsby said. "We identify units and their personnel,
training and equipment issues so we can get them ready to deploy and
to be fully capable of functioning overseas," Rigsby said.
senior NCO also noted the MAT works to ensure the units deploy on the
specific date set by the Army. "Training is all tied to the
force-flow model so the training unit will replace the unit that is
also explained the MAT is responsible for archiving all training
documentation. "To a point we put those records on a disc so the
unit will take it along with them. That minimizes any need for them to
call back to us. This is the first year we have gone digital with
records keeping. A digital record of all of a unit and Soldiers’
training is also forwarded to First Army Headquarters."
major aspect of that record keeping is the unit and Soldiers’
validation. Validation is the certification by a board of senior McCoy
officers that convenes in the last days of the mobilization period to
sign documents saying a unit and the Soldiers have completed training
requirements and are ready for deployment.
MAT centralizes the flow of information that helps to efficiently
accomplish the mission for the unit and Soldier," Rigsby said.
"We keep continuity for the process, from the alert order to
deployment of the unit and its Soldiers. Our focus is to prepare the
unit and its Soldiers for the full spectrum of training. We are a
resource for the unit and the Soldiers."
summed it up, "We have a non-negotiable contract with the
American people to ensure their Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen are as
prepared to go to war as we can make them."
is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc.,
contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)