|Maintenance Soldiers from a Florida Army National Guard
unit conducting mobilization training at Fort McCoy found time to use
their military knowledge and skills to support other Soldiers training
at the installation.
A Soldier from the 631st
Maintenance Company works on repairing a vehicle at the NCO
Academy Motor Pool.
(Photo by Maj. Mari
The 631st Maintenance Company Soldiers provided extra manpower to help
keep or bring vehicles up to Army standards at the NCO Academy.
Observer-Controller-Trainers from the 181st Infantry Brigade, which
coordinates mobilization training at Fort McCoy, arranged for the
The maintenance mission overseas is about training, preparation and
safety, said Command Sgt. Major M. Kevin Dubois, the NCO Academy
Dubois honored the 631st maintenance Soldiers with certificates of
appreciation and a command sergeant major coin during a recognition
ceremony at the NCO Academy Motor Pool.
“It’s a win-win situation for both you and us,” Dubois said “You get
training and an opportunity to turn wrenches. We benefit from your
skills and well-maintained vehicles that will support training (for the
Warrior Leader Course) in two days.”
Staff Sgt. Michael Bowen, the 631st supervisor, said the unit was
appreciative of all the opportunities to get oriented on the equipment
or get refresher training. The unit’s mission in-theater will be to go
to different sites as part of a Maintenance Support Team to repair
vehicles/equipment, Bowen said.
“Our Soldiers need to be trained up in this,” Bowen said. “They learn
how to ID problems on vehicles and how to look up parts in technical
manuals. We expect to be doing work like this in-theater.”
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Sirois, the NCO Academy Motor Pool sergeant,
welcomed the assistance as he is the only academy Soldier assigned to
the motor pool.
“It’s nice to have them available to look at the vehicles and do
technical inspections,” Sirois said. “They also use the opportunity to
Soldiers from the 631st
Maintenance Company, a Florida Army National Guard unit,
performs maintenance work on a vehicle at the Fort McCoy NCO
Academy Motor Pool.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
(An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
“We’ll use the vehicles to help train Soldiers in the Warrior Leader
Class, who often have been deployed or will be deployed,” Sirois said.
“They’re helping to prepare future Army leaders.”
In addition to the NCO Academy, the 631st Soldiers also supported the
maintenance mission at the Equipment Concentration Site-67, the
Installation Maintenance Materiel Activity and the Maneuver Area
Training Equipment Site organizations.
Sgt. Keith Hollowell, a mechanic/technician with the 631st, said he
appreciated the opportunity to turn wrenches and to do maintenance work.
“I’m overwhelmed to come here and get the opportunity to do this work
and train other Soldiers,” Hollowell said. “We work together here and
have each other’s back, the same way we will do in-theater.”
Pfc. Julianna Maria Kaim, a mechanic who cross-leveled to the unit, said
she loved doing the work.
“This is great training,” Kaim said. “It should be required on
mobilization training. We need as much time as we can get doing this.
This helps us to become more efficient, and there’s always more to learn
about the job.”