By Rob Schuette, fort McCoy Public Affairs January 24, 2013
Regional Training Site-Maintenance at Fort McCoy has been reaccredited, and, in the process, earned its third-consecutive Institution of Excellence designation.
RTS-Maintenance provides vehicle and equipment repair and maintenance training to members of the Army Reserve and other Army branches.
Maj. Victor O. McGee, RTS-Maintenance commandant, said the reaccreditation is valid for three years. Prior accreditation/reaccreditation occurred in 2006 and 2009.
Every RTS-Maintenance organization must be accredited, McGee said. "The Institution of Excellence designation shows we go above and beyond the call to provide training support to our students."
Soldiers who train at RTS-Maintenance Fort McCoy spread the word about the quality training back to their units and other peers, which helps attract repeat and new customers for training, McGee said.
The IOE rating also helps ensure RTS-Maintenance maintains a fluid and strong student population, which ranges from 550 to 650 students a year.
Available courses include training for heavy wheeled mechanics, construction equipment repairers, and quartermaster and chemical equipment repairers. Additional skill identifiers are available in laundry equipment operations and vehicle recovery. Specialized/sustainment training is available in the Standard Army Maintenance System 1-E (F2) computer programming in a unit motor pool, inspector certification and additional duty armorers course.
RTS-Maintenance instructors also provide Noncommissioned Officer Education System military occupational specialty specific technical phase training.
Depending on the needs of the Army, RTS-M might receive a number of "pop-up" or special training requests from its higher commands in addition to its normal training population, McGee said. Another advantage of the IOE rating is RTS-Maintenance receives newer equipment, which helps to support its mission.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Clayton, support maintenance technician, said the organization looks to continuous improvement and already has begun preparing to meet the standards for the next accreditation.
Maintaining the IOE rating also helps ensure RTS-Maintenance attracts the best instructors. Instructors, who are senior noncommissioned officers, often contact the organization to see what positions are open or will become open.
"We also apply the standards to our guest instructors," Clayton said. "If they don't meet our standards, they're not invited back to instruct other classes."
Master Sgt. Christine Wolf, RTS-Maintenance chief instructor, said the IOE rating helps ensure instructors who meet RTS-Maintenance standards have a good military career progression.
An IOE rating represents excellence not just for RTS-Maintenance students and cadre, but also for Fort McCoy support, McGee said.
Representatives from the Ordnance School conduct the reaccreditation inspection in conjunction with the Training and Doctrine Command.
The inspection includes examining the installation organizations that support the students, such as lodging, food service, physical fitness opportunities and quality-of-life activities, such as Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offerings.
The organization is evaluated on 24 standards to ensure the students receive quality training, she said.
"The inspectors went to the food service facilities, the Rumpel Fitness Center, Army Lodging, etc., and examined everything, including the rooms students stay in here during their training," Wolf said. "They were very thorough."
RTS-Maintenance partners with the installation to help ensure all organizations succeed, Clayton said. If MWR activities do not receive sufficient use, for example, they may be discontinued and RTS-Maintenance students will have less quality-of-life support.
McGee added it is vital RTS-Maintenance has the support of everyone on the installation to succeed.
"We owe the success of our school to the success of Fort McCoy as a whole," McGee said. "As Fort McCoy gets better, we get better. The Institution of Excellence designation represents not just the excellence of the school but of good leadership on the installation."
Fort McCoy support includes assistance from such organizations as the Real Property Planning Board, which helps the organization get the types of property it needs to support training, McGee said. Directorate of Public Works personnel also provide a quick response to ensure its facility needs are met in a timely manner, he added.