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 November 26, 2010

People

Fort McCoy Speakers Bureau helps tell Army, installation stories

By Theresa Fitzgerald, Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy’s Speakers Bureau already is in high gear this fiscal year.

Fort McCoy’s Speakers Bureau is a Public Affairs Office (PAO) Community Relations program that supports the Army Community Covenant by providing speakers to tell the Fort McCoy and Army story at approved events. Many organizations in local communities are eager to learn more about Fort McCoy and therefore request a speaker to address their meeting, program or school event.

PHOTO: Chap. (Col.) Ken Lawson, Fort McCoy garrison chaplain, speaks at a Veterans Day observance at Tomah Middle School Nov. 11. Contributed photo
Chap. (Col.) Ken Lawson, Fort McCoy garrison chaplain, speaks at a Veterans Day observance at Tomah Middle School Nov. 11. (Contributed photo)

The PAO matches requests for speakers with qualified speakers and coordinates details with the requesting organization.
For Veterans Day, the Speakers Bureau supported 19 requests from schools.

After participating at a Veterans Day program at the school his children attend, Maj. Thomas C. Akerlund, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, said he “felt like a celebrity. Both the kids and the adults were very motivated by the time I was done.”

Akerlund said he would recommend the Speakers Bureau to all of his peers, as long as they are willing to take the time to mold their speech/presentation to their precise audience. For most major events a stock speech, prepared at the Army level, is available for speakers to use in whole or as a starting point for their presentation.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey E. Uhlig, mobilization command sergeant major, said, “It was kind of fun talking to kids and let them know the history of this day.”

Not only do organizations benefit, but the speaker benefits from participating in these events as well, he said.

According to Fort McCoy Regulation 360-1, no member of the garrison work force, military or civilian, may speak to an external Fort McCoy audience in their official duty capacity, whether during duty or after-duty hours, unless they have received prior permission from PAO to participate in such an event.

External organizations that desire a Fort McCoy representative for an event are to submit their requests to PAO for review.
Staff participation in the Speakers Bureau is voluntary, and requests will be supported consistent with the identified speaker’s availability based on mission demands.

For more information or to be part of the Fort McCoy Speakers Bureau, contact PAO at 608-388-2407 or send an e-mail to usarmy.mccoy.imcom-northeast.list.pao-admin@mail.mil.

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