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NEWS | Aug. 21, 2023

Army Reserve public affairs Soldiers attend community engagement in Sparta, Wis.

By Staff Sgt. Bob Yarbrough 88th Readiness Division

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 304th Public Affairs Detachment, 88th Readiness Division, recently attended a community engagement in Sparta, Wis., with Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Lombardo, command sergeant major of the Army Reserve. The 304th is at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, preparing for an upcoming mobilization, and Lombardo was on the reservation to visit with troops from Global Medic, an Army Reserve exercise that trains and tests Army medical units on their proficiencies.

Lombardo was asked to come speak at a Sparta Chamber of Commerce event, a rock concert in Evans-Bosshard Park, featuring local country-rock and blues band Greg Hall and the Wrecking Ball, benefiting local cancer research and treatment.

The Soldiers of the 304th provided public affairs coverage, taking photos and video of the Army and Army Reserve Soldiers and Civilians at the park. As part of Command Sgt. Maj. Lombardo’s time on the microphone, he introduced 1st Lt. Bryant Garduque, commander of the 304th. He spoke to the audience about why he serves in the U.S. Army Reserve, and how he was able to complete a master's degree using Army tuition assistance while serving.

Community engagement is important to the Army Reserve, now more than ever, as recruiting and retention rates continue to fall across the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. Operation Shaping Tomorrow is the Army’s strategy to use every Soldier as a recruiter, getting them out into communities to talk about their unique Army experiences and highlighting their career field, along with more than 120 other jobs available in the Army Reserve.

The 304th will represent the Army Reserve in Kuwait as the forward deployed Public Affairs detachment for U.S. Army Central Command. There, they will assist in all public affairs related missions in the Central Command theater of operations.