VICKSBURG, Miss.--History was made when the only two theater engineer commands in the United States military came together for the first time in a joint workshop February 3-5, 2012.

Senior leaders from the Army Reserve's 412th and 416th Theater Engineer Commands got together to discuss issues facing both organizations, and to find ways of synchronizing the "way ahead" for both commands.

"Our desired relationship is to speak with one voice in all our strategic efforts," said Col. Miayako Schanely, 416th TEC chief of staff.

"That way we don't have two separate engineer commands saying two different things," said Lt. Col. Mark Leighton, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, 412th TEC.

"We understand the global environment, we agree what our role is and we pursue that role while not being at odds with each other," said, Maj. Gen. William M. Buckler, commander, 412th TEC.

Though many of the participants communicate electronically with their counterparts, many of them had never met. The workshop afforded the two commanders and their staffs an opportunity for face to face interaction.

"We brought up different issues, we talked about them, and we provided some common guidance and it gave the staffs some opportunity to hash out different things…but the real benefit was that general Crandall, (the 416th TEC commander) and I provided our vision," said Buckler.

Both sides seem to agree that the workshop was a step in the right direction, and there's discussion of a second workshop.

"By the end of the first day…we already were seeing benefits that made it worthwhile," said Buckler.

"This time we only had the HQ's staff in our workshop, but the next meeting, whether VTC or in person, we need to involve appropriate staff representatives from our down-trace units as well," said Schanely.

The two division level headquarters changed from engineer commands to theater engineer commands when the Army Reserve transformed from the Regional Support Structure to the current Functional Command Structure in Oct. 2009. The 412th TEC currently governs all Army Reserve engineer, and engineer-support units east of the Mississippi River, and the 416th manages the ones to the west.