News: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus retires from the Army Reserve
Story by Lt. Col. Michele Sutak
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Lt. Col. Dennis Klatt, an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is retiring after 23 years of military service. Klatt, a 1983 graduate of Muskego High, has been serving as clinical coordinator for the Regional Training Site, Medical at Fort McCoy, Wis., for the past six years.
Klatt, a native of Muskego, Wis., and a resident of Sparta, Wis., received a Legion of Merit for his service to the nation. The LOM is a military award of the United States armed forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. Additionally, he was recognized as a distinguished member of the Army Medical Department’s Regiment, receiving a Regimental Flag.
Klatt’s effective date of retirement is Jan. 1, 2013, at which time he will receive a Presidential Letter from the Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, for his more than 23 years of service to the nation.
Family members sharing in Klatt’s retirement ceremony include his parents, Dennis and Marian Klatt, and his two children, Kendal and Tyler.
Klatt reflects on the people, moments and experience, which have contributed to shaping his military career. His retirement marks a special occasion for him and his family, as well as for the soldiers with whom he has served.
Col. Brad Richardson, site director for the RTS-Med, remarked about how soldiers, throughout their military career, participate in farewells as they come and go between assignments. Commands will host a farewell to allow soldiers to say goodbye and acknowledge the departing member. Richardson added that many times, the words of gratitude are not relayed to the soldier for their tireless work and devotion to duty.
“So Dennis, let me say to you and to your family, a most sincere ‘Thank You’,” said Richardson. “Thank you for a job well done here at the RTS Med McCoy … you helped establish a great foundation of clinical training that will carry forward.”
In 1984, Klatt enlisted in the U.S. Army as a signal soldier at Fort Jackson, S.C., and served as a tactical satellite communications repair sergeant. After serving as an enlisted soldier for four years, he earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a direct appointment into the Army Nursing Corps upon graduation in 1993.
Klatt’s initial assignment was at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss Texas, where he served as a medical-surgical nurse on the 8th Ward. In 1996, he was reassigned to Gen. Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., after attending the AMEDD Basic and Advanced Principles of Preventive Medicine Courses. Upon completion, he served as a community health nurse, and later was assigned as the chief of Community Health.
In 1999, he was reassigned to the 452nd Combat Support Hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., where he served as the hospital’s assistant chief nurse and later deployed in 2003, to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, as part of Medical Task Force 44 where he continued to serve as the assistant chief nurse. During this yearlong deployment, Klatt earned the Combat Medic Badge for his courageous efforts while providing health care in combat.
After deployment, Klatt was reassigned to the 75th Combat Support Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he continued to serve as the assistant chief nurse until 2005, when he was reassigned to the RTS-Med, Fort McCoy Wis., where he serves as clinical coordinator.
Throughout his military career, Klatt has attended numerous military schools, to include, Officer Basic and Advanced Leadership Course in Medical Service Corps, Advanced Principles of Preventive Medicine and Command and General Staff College.
Klatt retires to the La Crosse, Wis., area pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Viterbo University, spending time with his family and enjoying more time to hunt and fish.