Fort McCoy News February 13, 2015

Commander briefs garrison workforce

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy's Strategic Business Plan has been an active ingredient in the recipe for success for the installation in past years, and that success should continue as the planners work on updating the plan in coming months. The plan and many other subjects were highlighted Jan. 22 during two sessions of the Garrison Commander's Workforce Briefing in building 905.

photo for briefing article
Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott discusses a wide range of subjects during the Garrison Commander's Workforce Briefing in building 905.

Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott said planning already has begun to update and change the Fort McCoy Strategic Plan. The current five-year plan was implemented in 2010. Senior leadership will work to ensure the follow-on five-year plan continues to align with changing times in the Army.

Nott also highlighted the post's continuously growing mission, how working at Fort McCoy is more than an occupation, successes from the past year, and how the installation is posturing for the future.

Mission, priorities

Fort McCoy's mission statement remains unchanged for 2015, but it is something the installation strategic planning team will work to further define and refine it later in the year, Nott said.

He said the post's workforce implements important aspects of the mission statement, such as supporting training and readiness, having excellent quality-of-life programs, being ready as a secondary mobilization force-generation installation, and serving as good stewards of the natural environment.

"Those areas highlight (some of) the core functions we have to perform and do well in order to succeed," Nott said. "It's a lot (of areas), and all of you (the workforce) have an impact on one or more of those items."

For 2015, some items have changed for the Fort McCoy Integrated Priority List (IPL) and some remain unchanged, including the top priority on the list — protection of the force, Nott said. "Protection of the force remains number one," Nott said. "That should be good news for you because we take your safety very seriously."

Continuing a theme he introduced in 2014, Nott said the people who work at Fort McCoy are the key to success for the future. Nott compared statements from the Soldier Creed and the Army Civilian Creed, and how they are the same or very similar.

"It doesn't matter if you wear a uniform, or you are an Army civilian, you are in the Army," Nott said. "And because of that, you are part of an Army profession."

A profession, not an occupation

To continue to have success, Nott revisited the difference between an occupation and a profession. "So what's the difference between a profession and an occupation? An occupation is basically a job," Nott said. "You show up, punch in and punch out, get your paycheck and go home. Other than that you don't let your occupation have much of an effect on the rest of your life.

"A profession, however, is a vocation," he said. "A profession, by definition, has to have an identified set of skills. It also requires having a group of people who have adopted their own set of values and to have the ability to enforce them. They make those values a part of the job and a part of who they are and how they identify themselves.

"I encourage everyone to work as hard as they can and contemplate this so we all become professionals," Nott said. "You can certainly have a great career in the Army if you just view it as an occupation, but you will go further if you become a true professional."

2014 reflections

Accomplishments at Fort McCoy were numerous, Nott said.

Particularly, supporting the training of 145,171 service members during fiscal year (FY) 2014 shows the installation is seeing continuous growth.

"It's taken us a long time to recover where we were prior to 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001)," Nott said. "Now we are starting to exceed where we were prior to 9/11. Our numbers are going to (continue to) go even higher this year."

In 2014, the installation supported nine major reserve-component exercises. Nott said that effort was "a huge deal."
As an example, he said Fort McCoy had more combat training center-like exercises than any other installation in the entire Army other than maneuver training centers like Fort Polk, La., and Fort Irwin, Calif.

"We're number one when you take out the maneuver training centers," Nott said.

Ongoing construction at the post also was reviewed. In FY 2014, more than $4.7 million in projects took place, to include building the new School Age Services Center as well as completing four of 10 buildings for the Mission Command Training Center, several range upgrades, new maintenance buildings and a warehouse for Family housing.

"We did have a lot of construction on the ranges," Nott said. "That's hugely important for our relevance as a training base."
Events highlighted from 2014 included the move of the Directorate of Public Works Housing Division to South Post, the annual Armed Forces Day Open House, a visit by the Honorable Katherine Hammack, the Army concert that featured BOSTON and the Doobie Brothers, and the debut of the movie, "Fort McCoy."

"How many other installations have a movie with their installation's name in the title?" Nott said. "People who buy those DVDs might not have ever heard of Fort McCoy, and now they (have)."

Continuing success

More than 105 years ago, Fort McCoy's founder, Maj. Gen. Robert B. McCoy, envisioned the U.S. Army would need a regional site to train and maneuver.

"He had this vision then, and the vision remains relevant," Nott said. "We're still living it now as a transient training location."
To continue the success of that original vision, Nott said the installation has to remain among the best in providing customer service, and continue adapting to ever-changing missions and needs.

"We have to have that professionalism, and I believe we have that here," Nott said. "You are a gold-standard staff, and you have that reputation across IMCOM (Installation Management Command)."

Carrying forward with success also means updating and changing Fort McCoy's Strategic Business Plan. The updated plan will be implemented in 2016.

Nott said the workforce can really have an impact in the plan by providing comments in the planning process and sharing their views with senior leaders.

"Part of that process is looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats," Nott said. "We need to identify all of those that are out there for the installation."

To be a part of the strategic planning process, Nott encouraged the workforce to be actively engaged. "Many of you have already been a part of this effort — continue to be a part of that effort," he said.

Posturing for the future

The increased training numbers in FY 2014 are a sign of the growing training utilization at Fort McCoy, Nott said.

"We are absolutely postured to stay relevant into the future," Nott said. "We have an unbelievable capacity and capability."
In the cantonment area alone, Nott said the post can support up to 10,000 training service members "at a moment's notice." That capacity could grow 17,000 or more through the use of forward-operating and tactical-training bases.

Fort McCoy's ranges are ready to support all weapons in the Army inventory with the exception of the Hellfire missile, he said. Also, the Fort McCoy Airport and Young Air Assault Strip have grown in their ability to receive large aircraft.

Later this year, construction begins on new military housing on South Post. The housing and other projects in coming years will enable Fort McCoy to remain relevant as a Total Force Training Center and further increase capabilities.

Nott said he would like everyone in the workforce to help spread the word about the good things Fort McCoy has to offer. "You all must become part of the voice for Fort McCoy," he said.