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 November 26, 2010

People

Deputy commander for mobilization retires after 29 years of service

Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services

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 clothes.

PHOTO: Col. Bastian Oskam (left) receives the Legion of Merit award from Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser at a retirement party. Photo by Tom Michele
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.”

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