[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 28, 2008
Command Corner

Sentinella looks back on 3 years 
at helm of Fort McCoy

By Col. Derek J. Sentinella, Installation Commander

      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.

Photo: Col. Darek J. Sentinella

      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 force. 

      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 him.

      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.


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