By Col. Derek J. Sentinella, Installation
By the time you read this, the transition from winter to spring
will (hopefully) be fully under way.
We are also approaching another transition in Fort McCoy
history -- a change of command.
I have had the privilege to serve as installation commander for
nearly three years. The time has passed much too quickly. The Army
trains you for leadership positions, but I never had expected to serve
as an installation commander. Coming to work each day has been an
honor, working with a highly professional staff and dedicated work
During my tenure, the operational tempo at the installation has
been at a marathon pace.
The work ethic and commitment of the military, civilian and
contractor work force has made Fort McCoy a great community partner, a
combat multiplier for those deploying units, and a jewel for
commanders desiring tough and realistic training. We have contributed
mightily to the training and preparedness of our nation's armed
forces. Together, we have built a solid reputation for providing units
with quality training supported by quality people. Today, we are
living our mission and vision statements, and we are well on our way
to being a training center of choice for the Total Force.
Fort McCoy's heart and soul is the people who fill the ranks at
all levels and get the job done, day after day, season after season.
This work ethic and commitment has seen us continue to rise
above the tough issues and has helped us through the challenges of
obtaining the funding necessary to improve our capabilities of
supporting the Nation's Warriors in more conducive infrastructure that
meets their needs, while convincing members of other staffs that we
can support the future mission of the Regional Training Center -
North/Combat Support Training Center without compromising our support
to the regular and recurring training conducted at the post.
The one regret that I have in leaving is that we have not yet
locked in the funding necessary for replacing the World War II-era
wood structures on the installation. We have a well-developed plan,
and people are interested in the plan, and we continue to pursue
buy-in and funding for that plan.
My successor, Col. David E. Chesser, will be quick to realize
the vast experience and dedication of the staff that will surround
I know you will welcome him and his family in the same way you
welcomed my wife, Susan, and me. As we prepare to leave Fort McCoy, we
want to thank you for the hospitality and support you've shown us
through the years. We also
encourage you to continue to support the needs of our nation and our
work force. Godspeed.