Meet The General Part 1Posted: Updated:
Walter Piatt is back at Fort Drum, this time as Major General Piatt, commander of the 10th Mountain Division. He spoke one-on-one with 7 News anchor Jeff Cole. You can see Jeff's report Wednesday on 7 News at 6.
"For the Piatt family, my wife and children, coming back to Fort Drum feels like coming home," said Major General Walter Piatt.
And while at home, he'll command one of the most deployed divisions of the U.S. Army, the 10th Mountain Division, a crucial part of our nation's defense.
Because of the Army's unique model here, the post is a crucial part of the north country's existence.
When it was designed, it was designed to connect us with the community ... No schools, no hospitals, forced the military base to pool the support that we're going to need, integrate it with the surrounding community and it was a win-win for both," said General Piatt.
Because of that model, tens of millions of dollars have been invested in local hospitals, schools, highways and more.
General Piatt says this unique model works and a recent visit by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand confirmed that.
"What they didn't expect was the significant cost savings and so that was something they learned that they didn't think they would see and it's something that actually applies to needs across the country," said Gillibrand (D. - NY).
But to keep this model going, to keep the economy moving, keep people working, General Piatt knows being commander of the 10th isn't just leading troops, it's getting boots on the ground at Fort Drum, the boots of elected officials.
Thursday night, the general talks about keeping Fort Drum sustainable by keeping its soldiers ready to deploy in an ever-changing world.