By Army Spc. Phillip Scaringi
78th Training Division
FORT McCOY, Wis., Aug. 1, 2012 - The Army Reserve has a unique ability to integrate professional civilian skills that its citizen-soldiers have acquired and use them to assist the unit in completing its mission.
Reservists who bring their civilian skills to the Army Reserve are known as "force multipliers." Reserve units see it as imperative to recognize civilian job skills and use them as effectively as possible.Spc. Ed Lewis is an Army Reserve soldier from Orange, N.Y., who serves with G Company, 3rd Battalion, 78th Training Division, based out of Horseheads, N.Y.
He is mobilized here to support the unit's Combat Support Training Exercise, one of the largest annual training exercises conducted by the Army Reserve. Lewis, a supply specialist in the Army Reserve, works as a volunteer emergency medical technician and assistant fire chief back home. These civilian job skills on safety procedures and first aid made him a premier candidate to become a task force safety officer during the exercise.
Safety officers ensure soldiers comply with safety standards. Lewis keeps a watchful eye on all aspects of the training; from M16 rifle ranges and convoy operations to troop movement around the various training areas. Lewis and his team inform and direct soldiers to key locations such as medical and hydration stations, and they educate units on best safety practices while training in the field.
The importance of safety is a focus of all people in uniform. Having soldiers like Lewis working in this key role, allow units to prepare for war while minimizing hazards, officials here said.