Fort McCoy News Nov. 11, 2016

Garrison commander reflects on first 6 months

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

With just more than six months as the Fort McCoy garrison commander, Col. David J. Pinter Sr. said he's learned much more about the installation, its capabilities, and its internal and external communities.

When Pinter assumed command March 11, he said, "We need to continue the efforts to expand our customer base; continue the community-outreach programs; and initiate the campaign to inform, educate, and invite our senior military and civilian leaders to experience the state-of-the-art training and world-class professionals here at Fort McCoy."

Col. David J. Pinter Sr.
Col. David J. Pinter Sr.

As garrison commander, he is responsible for day-to-day operation and management at the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

He also represents the Army and the installation in the surrounding communities, approves and issues garrison policies in accordance with respective Army regulations, approves and issues policies for the civilian workforce, and supports mobilization station requirements.

Part of a great team

"I attribute the ease of transitioning to this position to the great team here at Fort McCoy," Pinter said. "The workforce here has worked hard to ensure that Fort McCoy remains relevant in supporting missions of the Army and the DOD (Department of Defense)."

Pinter said the Fort McCoy workforce exemplifies the standard to support the ongoing Army and DOD mission and vision to remain ready; fight and win in a complex world; ensure the future Army is ready for future conflicts; and to take care of service members, veterans, and their Families.

"That is a true reflection of the success of Fort McCoy," Pinter said. "Fort McCoy is successful because each team member ensures that their job is complete and … done to standard.

"Within my 180-day assessment, and with results that I have received through external and internal inspections and assessments, I can say that Fort McCoy has not only worked to achieve the Army and IMCOM (Installation Management Command) standards, but also excelled past those standards and achieved the Fort McCoy standard."
Planning leads to success

Fort McCoy recently finalized its five-year Strategic Business Plan for 2016-2021 and will review it again in December. Pinter said he completed a full look at how strategic planning has been an active ingredient in the recipe for success for the installation.

"I believe the mindset and culture that is (currently) set in place at Fort McCoy became more evident … when the (first) five-year Strategic Business Plan was set in place," Pinter said.

The installation is in its third iteration of the plan, which provides a guide path to how the installation accomplishes its mission and vision by including strategic objectives, organization competencies and beliefs, command imperatives, and Army values in everyday business as well as its culture.

"Fort McCoy is constantly trying to visualize and understand what the next challenge is," Pinter said. "Here, the (team) not only shoots at the target, but also shoots through the target and hits that distant objective or goal that was put out there to achieve."

Key leaders visit

Since Pinter's arrival, 80-plus senior military and civilian leaders have visited the installation.

Among the visitors were Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of the Army (Environment, Safety and Occupational Health) Eugene Collins, Army Forces Command Commanding General Gen. Robert B. Abrams, IMCOM Commanding General Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General of U.S. Army Reserve Command Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, and Combined Arms Support Command Commanding General Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams. "I think first and foremost they realized the strength of Fort McCoy is the people," Pinter said.

Garrison Commander Col. David J. Pinter Sr. (right) talks with Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Environment, Safety and Occupational Health) Eugene Collins during Collins’ visit to Fort McCoy in August.
Garrison Commander Col. David J. Pinter Sr. (right) talks with Deputy
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Environment, Safety and Occupational
Health) Eugene Collins during Collins' visit to Fort McCoy in August.

"They were a little bit perplexed (at our success) because the doctrine and plans that other installations have are similar to Fort McCoy," he said. "They were curious as to how it is that Fort McCoy is actually able to employ that doctrine and those policies successfully because other installations have not been (as successful).

"I attribute this success to each one of the team members contributing to the team — to Team McCoy," Pinter said. "The key was for them to see what it is that Fort McCoy has to offer in the areas of capability, facilities, and capacity."

Pinter said he appreciates the support of senior leaders in recognizing the installation and its capabilities. He also appreciates the support of Fort McCoy's senior commander, 88th Regional Support Command Commanding General Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Reinert.

"The garrison receives great support from the senior commander and his team," Pinter said.

"Fort McCoy has gained the trust and confidence of the senior commander as demonstrated through supporting the reserve component as a whole and the exercises that are brought in. Maj. Gen. Reinert receives direct feedback on all of those. It's a whole-team approach that is appreciated."

Looking ahead

Readiness, the future Army, and taking care of service members, veterans and Family all are priorities that the installation will build on, Pinter said. The future also holds many new possibilities for Fort McCoy, and training opportunities are expanding for both institutional training and transient troop training. The "total team" at Fort McCoy, which combines the garrison and tenant organizations, always is searching for ways to expand support and provide added capability and capacity for training.

"The diversity of the Fort McCoy team is the key to our success," Pinter said. "The challenge is understanding what equities are in each of our tenant units' portfolio. How can we better support each other?"

Pinter also said training efforts such as troop projects and military police units training with Fort McCoy civilian police have reaped great dividends for both the installation and the units receiving the training.

"It provides value-added to the team we have here at Fort McCoy, and it also provides exposure to other agencies outside of McCoy," Pinter said. "It exposes them to the capabilities that we have here."

Within the Fort McCoy staff, focus will continue on workforce development. Training, education, and experience also are force multipliers and will be pursued to expand the competence of Fort McCoy's workforce as it is a learning organization, Pinter said.

"The best teams are developed based on the diversity and dynamics within the team."

There also will be a sustained effort to find more ways to support Families within the Fort McCoy community as well as keep Families and workforce members engaged in the local communities.

"If we look at Fort McCoy as an institution … you have to make sure you are connecting with neighbors," Pinter said. "That way, when there is a time of need, we can either respond to their needs or they can respond to our needs. I will tell you that need is constant. Whether that be with school systems, community programs, or through emergency-support functions — we are all nested. It's an 'all-in' community, and outreach programs help to foster those strong neighbor relationships."