|Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems &
After 29 years of service in the U.S. Army, culminating
with nearly three years as deputy commander for mobilization at Fort
McCoy, Col. Bastian Oskam has traded in his uniform for civilian
Col. Bastian Oskam (left)
receives the Legion of Merit award from Garrison Commander Col.
David E. Chesser at a retirement party.
Oskam, and his wife, Shauna, were toasted at a Nov. 18 retirement
party at McCoy’s Community Club, with the couple departing McCoy the
next day to spend the winter months in Florida.
Several accolades, tributes and congratulations were bestowed on Oskam,
highlighted by Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser pinning the
Legion of Merit Medal on Oskam’s coat lapel.
The accompanying citation read, in part, “for exceptionally meritorious
service as deputy commander for mobilization, Colonel Oskam
distinguished himself as a leader while ensuring the successful
mobilization and demobilization of over 52,000 servicemembers, earning
Fort McCoy the distinction as the most-efficient and busiest
mobilization training center in the country.”
Oskam received gifts from representatives of several of the
organizations he worked with.
In his remarks to the crowd, Oskam said the celebration party for his
retirement “is really a celebration of the high level of achievements
Fort McCoy made in a short time.”
“Because of the efforts of Soldiers, civilians and contractors, the
congratulations go to our achievements,” Oskam said. “It is about being
able to support mobilization when called upon by the nation. It is the
quality of care we provided to the servicemembers. It is the sincere
‘Midwestern patriotism and friendly nice’ way of explaining it.”
“It has always been a team effort, about people who make us what we
are,” Oskam said. “It is the sincere concern for the American Soldier.”