DVIDS – News – Soldiers from the 389th Engineer Company hone their skills supporting the Troop Project at Fort McCoy


88th Readiness Division Public Affairs

Hitting both vertical and horizontal projects, soldiers from the 389th Engineer Company spent their annual training at Fort McCoy working on special troop projects.

The Army Reserve unit based in Des Moines, Iowa, tackled pavement construction and road maintenance projects from mid to late June 2022 at Camp Courage on the post south of Fort McCoy. The projects were offered by the Fort McCoy Branch of Public Works (DPW) and DPW Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow.

Staff Sgt. Ethan Cowell, unit construction team leader and training non-commissioned officer, explained the construction project. He said the soldiers had to remove and replace rotting boards, add waterproofing materials, reframe and add new plywood, and drill holes in the eaves to allow more ventilation. Bright green metallic siding replaced the dull gray plywood. An electrician also added new exterior light fixtures.

“You can tell how much better the temperature is inside once we cut the holes,” Cowell said. Without ventilation, it was either too hot or too cold inside.

The construction project was new to many soldiers. “It’s a learning project. We train them properly as we go so we don’t make mistakes,” Cowell said.

“It’s all new to me,” Pvt. Daniel Johnson said. He joined the Army Reserve in April 2021 to learn engineering skills to give him better opportunities in the civilian world.

At the other end of the experience spectrum is the staff sergeant. Jason Amy, who has been in the Army Reserve for 10 years. He joined the army reserve because “his whole family was in the army. It’s a tradition.”

Amy also joined the Army Reserve for the camaraderie and the opportunity to meet people from other places. He said he likes the environment where he can “share knowledge and put it all together…work as a team.”

Although Amy works as a CIO for his civilian career, he enjoys being a 12H Supervising Engineer because it’s something he “always wanted to learn and do.” It’s good ground. It’s something that will never go away and I can always use my skills at home.

Replacing the existing plywood with metal siding was new work for Amy. “It’s interesting to learn a new task,” he says.

Other members of the unit worked on a road maintenance project. sergeant. 1st Class Christopher Morian, noncommissioned officer in charge of the horizontal project, described the job. A total of 6 inches of gravel was added – first 3 inches compacted, then another 3 inches and more compaction. Then a crown was constructed in the center. The sides have been razed to allow water runoff into the ditches.

The commander of the 389th Engineer Company, Captain William Gentzsch, said he liked coming to Fort McCoy because of the “good training opportunities. There is plenty of space here to use for all of our engineering tasks and individual tasks. We can do a lot here in two weeks,” he said.

Learn more about the Army Reserve by visiting https://www.usar.army.mil. Learn more about the 88th Readiness Division by visiting https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/88RSC.

Date taken: 07.07.2022
Date posted: 07.07.2022 13:18
Story ID: 424520
Location: FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin, USA
Hometown: DES MOINES, Iowa, USA

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