[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 14, 2008

New deputy for mobilization synchronizes installation's support efforts

By Tom  Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

      As the new deputy for mobilization support for the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Mc-Coy, Col. Bas Oskam is responsible for "synchronizing the installation's support to the mobilization effort at Fort McCoy."

Photo: Col. Bas Oskam. (Photo by TSS)

     Oskam said, "Mobilization is not the only business at Fort McCoy, but at certain times we are highly engaged in support of the mobilization and demobilization effort. When mobilized Soldiers arrive at Fort McCoy, they are provided an intense training environment which lasts between 30 to 60 days. We also support demobilization of Soldiers, which takes about five days and is focused on administration, medical functions and entitlements to return the Soldier back to reserve status. But, more importantly, it is getting them back to their families."

     Oskam replaces Col. Scott A. McFarlane who has demobilized and is working with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

     Oskam, who reports to Installation Commander Col. Derek J. Sentinella, has a long military career, starting in 1980 when he received his commission in the active Army and in the Transportation Corps. He served with the 1st Cavalry in Texas and Florida; Military Traffic Management Command, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and other tours in Georgia and Florida. He is a 2001 graduate of the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

      At the time of his retirement in April 2006, Oskam was the director of the Army Reserve Force Programs in the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve in the Pentagon.

      He and his wife sold their Atlanta home and began traveling in a recreational vehicle across many of the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountain states, "searching for our Shangri La," he said.  They also traveled to East Germany, where he met a cousin he had never met before, and the Scandinavian countries. Those travels took over a year.

     He then got a phone call from his previous commander to return to the military and help with mobilization. Oskam did just that in January.       

      "I have mobilized through four posts in my military career, and, when I came to Fort McCoy, my biggest impression of the fort was the smiles on all of the faces of the Soldiers and civilians." Oskam said. "They all have a deep concern about taking care of Soldiers."

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)


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