|Story & Photos by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems and
Soldiers from the 33rd Brigade
Combat Team progress through their out-processing paperwork at
Fort McCoy’s Soldier Readiness Center. The 33rd, which is part
of the Illinois National Guard, demobilized at Fort McCoy after
supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
About 3,000 Soldiers from the 33rd Brigade Combat Team
were at Fort McCoy for the last days of their one-year tour of duty. The
33rd, from the Illinois Army National Guard, demobilized at Fort McCoy
with units spread out during a four-month period.
“We were made up of many different and separate groups,” Lt. Col. Brian
Sheridan said, “each group with different and separate missions. Our
missions were all with training and mentoring the Afghan national police
and Afghan national army.”
Sheridan, the 33rd’s demobilization officer-in-charge, has been at McCoy
“Our demobilization at Fort McCoy was excellent,” Sheridan said. “We
were given outstanding support from the Soldier Readiness Center,
Mobilization Unit In-processing Center, Volk Field and others to get our
people home. Although we mobilized out of Fort Bragg and Fort Riley, our
demob at McCoy was closer and more convenient to home. We used coach
buses for the final miles.”
Administration specialist Kris
Oakes (right) assists Staff Sgt. Robert McGuire of the 33rd
Brigade Combat Team with the completion of his Department of
Defense Form 214.
“We are also very familiar with Fort McCoy, having spent many training
periods at McCoy, and we will be at McCoy for training in June 2010,”
Sheridan said. “We very much appreciated the flexibility of scheduling
at McCoy as our flights changed.”
“The people at McCoy cared for us, individually and as units.
We weren’t just treated as numbers,” Sheridan said. “This was the
largest deployment of the Illinois Army National Guard since World War
II. It was the fifth deployment for many of our Soldiers, they just keep