Page 12 - Scene Magazine 41-10 October 2016
P. 12

Did You Know?
ltc (lieutenant colonel) steve Wilson
   Did You Know... if you are interested in serving in the mil- itary and you’d like to spend the major- ity of the time serv- ing your own com- munity the National Guard just might be
your answer? Recently I met LTC (Lieu- tenant Colonel) Steve Wilson, the Garrison Commander at Fort Custer. He’s had the honor and privilege of serving in the Mich- igan Army National Guard for over 26 years and other than his time training and two deployments to Iraq, LTC Wilson has lived in Michigan, and mostly here in the Calhoun County and Kalamazoo County areas.
LTC Wilson was born and raised in metro Detroit and received his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan Universi- ty. While at WMU Steve felt the calling to serve, but he didn’t necessarily want to leave college. As it happens in life he
met someone who directed his fo- cus to the National Guard. Steve says, “I thought I’d serve active duty for four years and then do something else.” In- stead he’s looking
back at 26 years with the Michigan Army National Guard and “...wondering where the time went,” he chuckles and completes the thought by saying, “...and I’ve loved every second of it.”
Wilson and his wife, Tammy live in Ka- lamazoo and have four children, Mitchell, Karissa, Kate, and Nicole. The children keep them busy but they find time for them- selves to workout at the gym (up to six times a week), travel domestically and abroad, and even occasionally play golf. Wilson’s extended family has a cottage near Gaylord and they really enjoy spending time where there’s no phone, no wifi, and the cell re- ception is mostly nonexistent. Wilson’s son
Mitchell is currently in the Michigan Air National Guard and after training will be assigned to the 110 Attack Wing in Battle Creek. “I had the extremely proud moment to swear-in my son to the 110 Attack Wing next door,” LTC Wilson says while beaming with pride and also said, “I think he may be taking after his old man.”
LTC Wilson will be at Fort Custer for at least three years and then... “I serve at the pleasure of Brigadier General Mike Stone,” he says. While serving at Fort Custer, Wilson says there are three prior- ities he is currently working on that could positively affect the Battle Creek and Cal- houn and Kalamazoo County areas. Those projects are the East Coast Missile Defense System, the Centennial of Fort Custer in 2017, and the constant improvement of the facilities for training at Fort Custer.
There are a number of steps before the East Coast Missile Defense System final site is announced. Fort Custer is one of three sites being considered. One of those many steps before a decision is made is the Environmental Impact Survey which is now complete but it is only one of those many and politically involved steps that need to happen before the final decision is made.
As for the Fort Custer Centennial to be celebrated in 2017, many plans to honor the facility’s service to state and nation are in the works and by coincidence, 2017 is also the World War I Centennial.
“My mantra is constant improvement,” LTC Wilson states about the third priority of his command. “We are constantly look- ing for ways to improve our facilities.” He believes that it’s among his responsibilities to ensure Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, and other Department of De- fense organizations which are customers of Fort Custer have top training facilities at the ready. Fort Custer’s location, about equi-distant between Chicago, Indianap- olis, and Detroit, makes it attractive and because improving facilities is important, anyone passing by will see a number of construction projects underway with more in the planning stages to set Fort Custer up for the next hundred years.
For the next three years, Fort Custer is in the able command of LTC Steve Wilson who, although technically can’t be called a “home town boy,” has spent his entire adult life in this community and in his words, “I am honored and proud to serve here at Fort Custer.”
                                                         105 Capital Ave., NE • 269-962-5527 •

   10   11   12   13   14