Fort McCOY, Wis. – The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) in Iowa and Illinois hosted a "boss lift" Aug. 17 to allow employers to observe and take part in troops' operations during the Combat Support Training Exercise 86-13-01 at Fort McCoy, Wis. Facilitated by the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), it was the first boss lift to occur for Army Reserve units from Iowa.
"I think [the boss lift] is a fantastic experience for the employers," said Becky Coady, program manager for the ESGR Iowa committee. "Just being able to have a little bit of that hands-on experience."
Events that allow civilian leadership to witness firsthand the capabilities of the Reserve are particularly relevant since the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The 2012 NDAA dictates that state legislatures may now send Federal Reserve component forces to respond to domestic needs such as stateside natural disasters or emergencies. Before, that role was reserved for the National Guard.
Because of this broadened role, the Army Reserve is making strides in showcasing its capabilities with events such as the ESGR boss lift. During this particular lift, the employers observed Reserve units participating in their annual training.
The boss lift included a tour of Army Reserve units and capabilities including water purification, field laundry operations, fuel storage and distribution, food service operations and more. They even had an opportunity to shoot assault rifles, ride in the Humvee roll-over simulator and witness soldiers react to a notional ambush as part of the exercise.
The employers, who came from a range of various companies, appreciated the effort put forth by the units involved.
"I would encourage everybody to do this," said Brent Behrens, a Nationwide Insurance recruiter. "Hopefully I'll be able to do it again in the future. I'll definitely be signing up again if I get the opportunity."
Cluing civilian leaders in about the Reserve's capabilities is vital to maintaining a strong partnership, especially if Reserve units must respond to future stateside disasters. If the trend continues, Behrens should have plenty more opportunities to see what these units can do.
Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/112407/esgr-hosts-first-boss-lift-iowa-army-reserve#.UhaCZH-9edw#ixzz2ck8YvZWc
Story by Sgt. Emily Walter
First photo: Army Reserve Staff Sgt. William Kopf, who is assigned to the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), shows John True, from the Principal Financial Group, the fundamentals of the M16 rifle. (Photo by Army Spc. Austin Stein, 86th Training Division)
Second photo: Employers from Iowa and Illinois observe Army Reserve training during the Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 86-13-01 at Fort McCoy, Wis., Aug. 17.(Photo by Spc. Austin Stein, 86th Training Division)