McManigal receives Legion of Merit award, prepares for senior advisor role with Afghan Police
May 25, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KAN. " When Colonel Mark McManigal deploys to Afghanistan later this month, heâ€™ll take the knowledge gained during nearly 27 years as a U.S. Army trainer, educator and mentor. The Creighton, Neb., native looks forward to putting that experience to work as the senior advisor to the commander of the Afghan National Civil Order of Police.
â€śServing this great country every single day is absolutely powerful,â€ť McManigal told nearly 100 coworkers and friends gathered for a May 19th awards ceremony to mark the end of his three yearsâ€™ service at Fort Leavenworth. â€śItâ€™s going to be hard work, but I will have great support behind me.â€ť
McManigal was chosen for the Afghanistan assignment by Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, the former Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth Commanding General. Caldwell currently serves as Commander, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and Commander, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.
In addition to his training and education experience, McManigal is very familiar with the U.S. Armyâ€™s use of simulations and integrated training to enhance the training experience given limited time and other resources. For the past two years, he has directed the Combined Arms Center-Trainingâ€™s Integrated Training Environment (ITE) effort based at Fort Leavenworth.
The ITE, which will begin fielding next year, is a seamless, interconnected network that will support brigade-level Army training events starting in 2012 across 12 camps, posts and stations. It will integrate live, virtual, constructive and gaming elements into a single training exercise " with all participants experiencing the same terrain and scenario elements.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Brigadier General Paul E. Funk II complimented McManigal and the ITE Coordinating Staff for their work, adding that it is â€ścritical that we deliver this systemâ€ť to help train Soldiers given time and resource limitations. â€śWe could not do that without this guy and his team,â€ť added Funk, who is Deputy Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center-Training.
Prior to leading the ITE Coordinating Staff, McManigal directed the Armyâ€™s gaming efforts as TRADOC Capabilities Manager-Gaming and Director of the Futures and Integration Directorate. Under his leadership, the Army developed a cutting edge Games for Training capability and fielded Virtual BattleSpace 2, the Armyâ€™s primary gaming simulation for training Soldiers.
In appreciation for McManigalâ€™s three years of work with the National Simulation Center and throughout his military career, Funk presented the ITE leader with the Legion of Merit military decoration. The Legion of Merit is the fourth highest honor for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and recognizes exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.
McManigalâ€™s award citation indicated he has â€śdistinguished himself in every endeavorâ€ť and â€śepitomizes the traits expected of the Armyâ€™s very best commissioned officers and leaders.â€ť
Part of the Training and Doctrine Command, the U.S. Armyâ€™s Combined Arms Center-Training delivers training programs, products and services to leaders and units in support of Army readiness. Wherever Army training occurs, the Combined Arms Center-Training helps make it happen. To learn more about the Combined Arms Center-Training, visit http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cac-t/, www.facebook.com/usacactraining or www.twitter.com/usacactraining.