Fort McCoy News July 28, 2017

Army Reserve CSM holds enlisted huddle at McCoy

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

The big screen in the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy auditorium showed a photo of Command Sgt. Maj. Ted L. Copeland, the command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Reserve, and a quote by him — "I'm a firm believer the Army universe moves around the NCO Corps."

"That quote and battle cry is something I need you to take to heart," Copeland said during an NCO and Soldier forum July 12 with 150-plus Soldiers in the auditorium. "You are the future of the NCO Corps, and this is something I truly believe in."

Copeland became the Army Reserve top enlisted leader in April, and this was his first town hall discussion at Fort McCoy in that position. Copeland was at the installation for three days, spending most of his visit with staff and students at the academy.

Command Sgt. Maj. Ted. L. Copeland, command sergeant major of the Army Reserve, talks with Soldiers during a noncommissioned officer and Soldier forum July 12 at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort McCoy.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ted. L. Copeland, command sergeant major of the
Army Reserve, talks with Soldiers during a noncommissioned officer and
Soldier forum July 12 at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned
Officer Academy at Fort McCoy.



Command Sgt. Maj. Ted. L. Copeland provides advice to Soldiers during the forum July 12 at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ted. L. Copeland provides advice to Soldiers during
the forum July 12 at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned
Officer Academy.

According to his biography, Copeland is a native of Wapakoneta, Ohio, and enlisted in the Army in 1984 as a military policeman. He has since risen through the ranks and served in multiple stateside and overseas locations.

In his town hall discussion, Copeland discussed the future of the Army Reserve enlisted force.

"Some of you might ask, 'Where are we going (as an Army)?'" Copeland said. "The (simple) answer is we need to train as we fight. … We are going back to being a Soldier first."

Copeland is well-versed in the warfighting skills of the enlisted force he supports. He's a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and has served in other overseas deployments to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom; Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Turkey.

He noted the success of the future force and the "road to awesome" will include a high state of readiness among the force. That's where being a "Soldier first" is important.

"If you are on the battlefield and you can't fight and survive, it doesn't matter what your specialty is," Copeland said. "Readiness will be a key component of the (future) NCO Corps. It's important because we train Soldiers; we have to be professionals. … We're the experts, and we know our jobs."

Since the main contingent of the town hall audience were students in the academy's Basic Leader Course and Battle Staff NCO Course, Copeland's message reached the right audience. He further challenged the NCOs and future NCOs.

"Be an adaptive, innovative, and aggressive NCO," Copeland said. "Be the one who will get it done. Don't take no for an answer. Ask why when you need to and figure out how to complete your mission. … We need you to be that NCO."

Copeland answered several questions from Soldiers to end the forum, then summed up the importance of the forum's discussion.

"I hope you take some of what we discussed today and take it to (heart)," he said. "You are our future."

Copeland's visit was supported by academy and Fort McCoy Garrison staff.

In addition to participating in numerous academy events, Copeland also received an aerial tour of the installation by helicopter and met with Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Matthias, garrison command sergeant major.