Speakers Bureau seeks volunteers for
|By Theresa Fitzgerald, Public Affairs Staff
Fort McCoy’s Speakers Bureau Program is a community outreach initiative
supported by Army Regulation and managed by the Public Affairs Office (PAO).
It provides community organizations such as schools, veterans
organizations and civic groups, with speakers for meetings or events.
The program seeks to increase public awareness of the mission and
programs of Fort McCoy and to build and maintain positive relationships
with surrounding communities.
All speaking requests are submitted to the PAO, where they are screened
for eligibility and to ensure the request meets Army Regulation
guidelines. The PAO will determine which registered speaker best suits
the event depending on the requested topic.
Many speaker requests are received for patriotic observances such as
Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Throughout the year other requests are
also received to provide information about ongoing activities at Fort
McCoy, such as natural resources, employment, current and future
The Office of the Chief Public Affairs prepares speeches for patriotic
observances; these are available to speakers to use as written or to
customize to target the specific audience.
Tim Wilder, Endangered Species Biologist for Fort McCoy’s Natural
Resources Branch, has been a member of the Speakers Bureau for years.
“The Speakers Bureau promotes Fort McCoy in a good light; it is a great
public relations tool, Wilder said. “The program helps educate the
public that the Army manages natural resources on Fort McCoy in a manner
that doesn’t affect the training going on at the installation.”
Soldiers and civilians working at Fort McCoy can register to participate
for the voluntary program.
The process begins by contacting PAO at 608-388-2407 to receive
application materials. Application information will be used to prepare
an introductory biography, which, in turn, will be provided to the
organizations requesting speaker support.
Before accepting a speaking engagement, the speaker first must ensure
that it does not interfere with workload/mission commitments and have
supervisor approval if the request is during duty hours.
When he was mobilized at Fort McCoy as the mobilization command sergeant
major, Jeffrey Uhlig, Community Recreation Division chief at the
Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, supported the
Speakers Bureau Program by speaking at schools and military-affiliated
Uhlig said, “It was an honor and a privilege to be able to tell the Army
story; it was enjoyable to be able to interact with the public.”
“I feel it is extremely important that veterans, both past and present,
are recognized and continue to be recognized for their service to our
great nation,” he said. “Everyone needs to understand the importance of
taking the opportunity to speak at various events to recognize the
accomplishments of the veterans and the support of the public.”
Melissa Frost, counselor at Sparta Meadowview Middle School, has
requested a speaker from the installation for their Veterans Day Program
for the past six years.
“We request a speaker from Fort McCoy because the speakers are very
professional, are always on time and it benefits having someone present
a speech that is relevant to the message given,” Frost said. “The speech
is age-appropriate for the students as well as the teachers and invited