By Master Sgt. Brad Staggs
| Sept. 2, 2020
State Carpenter Shawn Kostek planes the end of the new door to House 20, the old Hospital Administrator's family home, at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center on July 14 as Darby Morris watches. The original door from 1938 was in disrepair and in order to keep the building in good, working condition, Kostek and his fellow carpenter Bill LaFollette built the new door from scratch. (Photo by Master Sgt. Brad Staggs)
The Indiana National Guard runs Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, but that doesn’t mean that soldiers are the only people who work here.
On the contrary, the staff at the southern Indiana facility is made up primarily of civilians. State employees and contractors outnumber uniformed military members five to one and run the facility’s infrastructure.
“Our state employees are the backbone of Muscatatuck,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Spencer, site commander. “We could not operate and support a single customer without their daily efforts.” Spencer points out that Muscatatuck’s reputation for great customer service begins with the civilian employees.
Handling the infrastructure is no small job and keeping the hot water and electricity flowing falls on the shoulders of the state employees. The powerhouse, water treatment facility, housing department and many others are manned entirely by civilian state employees. Muscatatuck has one of the very few working farms in the military and it is taken care of entirely by a farmer who is a civilian employee.
Muscatatuck Urban Training Center hosts military and first responder training which means that conditions must be set up for any kind of training that is needed. Most times, these conditions are physically set by the civilian employees. They run special effects, assist with training, even herd goats and a camel through the training site for realism.
“I’m very happy with my job,” said Darby Morris, a maintenance foreman who has worked at Muscatatuck for more than eight years. “Most days are a good challenge that keeps me on my toes. One thing about Muscatatuck, you have to be fluid and ready to take on any job given to you.”
When Morris began at MUTC, he was hired as a seasonal worker. As he likes to remind people, there is room for advancement if you are a good employee.
Rick Stigall, director of state personnel at MUTC, is a retired command sergeant major and has worked at the facility for more than a decade. He is proud to be the leader of such a unique working force.
“The facility would not operate without the state employees,” Stigall said. “The functionality that we have, which provides the amazing customer service, is because of those people who support every exercise and every training event, every day, rain or shine.”
If you would like to find out more about state employment openings at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, go to https://workforindiana.in.gov/ and look for jobs in the 47223 zip code.