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NEWS | Jan. 12, 2018

88th RD holds Town Hall

By Zachary Mott 88th Readiness Division

Seated inside the 88th Readiness Division’s auditorium, more than 70 civilians and senior uniformed leaders listened as Karl F. Schneider hosted a town hall, Jan. 12.

Schneider is the deputy chief management officer for the U.S. Army and visited Fort McCoy prior to his speaking engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During the two-hour session, Schneider talked about the role of the U.S. Army, the Army Civilian/Soldier relationship as well as the importance of readiness in everything we do and how Fort McCoy and the 88th RD are vital pieces for the U.S. Army and Army Reserve.

“It’s absolutely important that Soldiers and Civilians have mutual trust in order to get the hard work done,” Schneider said. “It’s a lot easier to get things done when you can trust the people you work with.”

That work extends across the 19-state region of the 88th Readiness Division and throughout the training areas of Fort McCoy.

“The work that the 88th does with all of the organizations across the geographic area of responsibility is so important to the Army and to the nation,” Schneider said.

“The other thing that Fort McCoy does in particular is that it’s a great facility for all of the services to use to get ready to operate in pretty severe environments. The opportunity that Fort McCoy gives not just the Army but the entire Department of Defense – Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps – is hard to replicate anyplace else,” he said.

Each year, more than 100,000 service members conduct training at this post in western Wisconsin. During their time here, the service members utilize the more than 46,000 acres of contiguous live-fire and maneuver areas. In 2017, the first iteration of the Army Reserve’s Operation Cold Steel was conducted at Fort McCoy. Operation Cold Steel was the first large-scale live-fire training and crew-served weapons qualification of its kind in the Army Reserve.

“We always have Reserve component units coming to the front whether it’s to go to Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Africa, to Europe, to Korea; those Reserve component units are always moving,” Schneider said. “The 88th is the lubricant that keeps that machine running. Fort McCoy is one of those places where we know we can bring people for training. We know that Fort McCoy has a lot to offer in terms of infrastructure, in terms of its environment and in terms of support we get from the community.”

The unique opportunity to bring the deputy chief management officer to the 88th RD and Fort McCoy was something Maj. Gen. Patrick Reinert, commanding general of the 88th RD, didn’t want to pass up.

Reinert said it was a great honor to have Schneider visit and offer his insights to the staff