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March 23, 2012

News

181st-aligned units competing for Army-level awards for supply excellence

Competing for the Chief of Staff, Army (CSA) Supply Excellence Award (SEA) is not only about a Fort McCoy unit proving its excellence in supporting Soldiers, but also about sharing its expertise with others and seeking input for improvement.

Sgt. 1st Class Viola Lewis, a senior supply sergeant for the 2nd Battalion, 411th Regiment, said unit members saw the competition as an opportunity to excel and enhance their logistical knowledge base.
PHOTO: A senior evaluator for the Department of the Army Supply Excellence Award Team checks data files with a supply sergeant for the 2nd, 411th. Photo by Rob Schuette
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Roseanna Smith (standing), a senior evaluator for the Department of the Army Supply Excellence Award Team, checks data files with Sgt. 1st Class Viola Lewis, a senior supply sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, 411th Regiment, a logistics battalion aligned with the 181st Infantry Brigade. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

The 2nd, 411th, a logistical support battalion, is aligned with the 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) Roseanna Smith and CW4 Paul Thurston, both senior evaluators for the CSA SEA program, are members of a team that will evaluate all 30 Army Reserve supply units involved in the competition, including six organizations from Wisconsin. Smith and Thurston bring a combined 50 years of experience to the evaluation process.

“If we have any questions or concerns about the supply field, we can ask them and get the answers we need,” Lewis said. “They have a lot of knowledge.”

Smith said it works both ways. She said she judges the competition to get a first-hand look at what is going on in the field. The evaluators take back the best practices they observe and incorporate it into supply training.

“The purpose of the CSA SEA program is to enhance the logistics readiness and supply effectiveness of Army organizations,” Smith said. “The program provides a positive incentive for extraordinary supply and support operations.”

The 2nd, 411th has provided excellent supply support throughout its history, especially from 2003 to 2011, when it supported more than 45,000 Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen deploying through Fort McCoy in support of overseas contingency operations, Lewis said.

During that time, the unit implemented a consolidated arms room, an ammunition supply point, a communications section, a vehicle issue point and provided logistical support to several forward operating bases.

“These areas made it possible for deploying Soldiers to participate in realistic combat as well as (making) a smooth transition to and from a combat zone,” Lewis said.

Even though the unit has returned to reserve-component status after the mobilization mission at Fort McCoy was completed, the unit plans to continue providing the same high-level of supply support, she said.

“The 2nd, 411th supply section will continue to provide uninterrupted logistical support, and educate, promote and enhance the careers of all logistical personnel assigned to or attached to the unit,” Lewis said.

Sgt. 1st Class Michel Buterbaugh, the 3rd, 335th Training Support Battalion (TSB) supply noncommissioned officer in charge, said the unit, as well as the 1st, 338th TSB, which also are aligned with the 181st, are competing for awards in their supply field category.

Both units are competing at the parent level.

Smith said the team evaluators are wrapping up their on-site visits and soon will begin the judging of the entrants.

Results of the six- to seven-month on-site evaluation process are expected to be completed in the near future, and the competition winners are expected to be announced by the first week in May.

Winners will be invited to attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C., where they will receive a plaque and command coins designating them as the best logistics organizations in the Army in their respective categories.

In addition to Lewis, other members of the 2nd, 411th include: Maj. Michael J. Rel, battalion commander; Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Agnew, acting command sergeant major; and Sgt. 1st Class Sarah Johnson, senior supply sergeant.

Sgt. Jimmie Reddick, and Sgt. Jason Vazquez both supported the unit during the mobilization mission and have since been released from active duty.

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