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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Wabasso grad goes from explosives to robots

  • Captain Dee Ann Guetter (Stalvey), a 2002 graduate of Wabasso High School, is taking a break from defusing bombs to teaching robotics to soldiers, and wouldn't miss it for the world.
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  • After nine years in the Army, Captain Dee Ann Guetter (Stalvey) is being reassigned to the same base at which she did her basic training: Ft. Leonard Wood, WI. There, she will be assuming a teaching role, a new area for her.
    “It’s a different aspect. I’ve never really taught before,” Capt. Guetter said. “I’m looking forward to learning something new. It’s exciting to get to know soldiers from all over. I can impart what I know, but they can also impart what they know to me, too.”
    “I will be training soldiers who want to learn more about the robots we use in the military,” she said. “I would be in charge of the soldiers in that part of the school.”
    Guetter is looking to be the head of the Robotics Department the next two to three years at Ft. Leonard, as the Army wants soldiers to be on base for about three years before being permanently assigned elsewhere.
    Prior to this new assignment, Capt. Guetter was a commander at the Ft. Stewart, Georgia.
    “I had 61 soldiers under me,” she explained, “but my company was only supposed to be 44.”
    “There really isn’t a place for EOD, other than command, there,” she said. “And, they want to rotate command so everybody gets the experience. EOD is a very small command and there are only companies at Georgia. When my time was up, I had to either go to another company or go to another post. I said ‘Send me to another post.’ So, they reassigned me to Ft. Leonard Wood.”
    In the process of becoming a captain, Guetter did two overseas tours with her EOD unit. She explained that EOD stood for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. The first was as a Platoon Leader, where she got her EOD experience.
    “There was a lot of ordinance and post blast there,” she said.
    She also had a 5-month tour as a company commander. There was a surge of activity in the area and they wanted an extra EOD company there.
    “Not exactly exciting, it was more taking care of teams,” Guetter said. “The relationship between the battalion and the teams was more fluid.”
    Stateside, she had one bomb call. It was while she was in command at Stewart, GA.
    “If there is anything explosive, like a bomb, the police called us,” she said. “It wasn’t uncommon to find unexploded ordinance lying around that people have forgotten about.”
    In this instance a kid went diving, found a cannon ball and took it to his home in Hinesville, GA. His parents called the police who told them it was a hazard, then they called the fort.
    Page 2 of 2 - There are a few different types of cannonballs, according to Guetter. Some are explosive, while others are not. This one had a screw where black powder would have been loaded; therefore, it was the explosive kind.
    “When it goes off, it’ll shoot off the shrapnel and do more damage that way,” Guetter shared.
    Guetter, now married to William Stalvey, was home on leave over Easter. She is the daughter of Greg and Kathy Guetter of Wabasso and a 2002 Wabasso High School graduate.
    William is a former military contractor, and they met while stationed in Georgia. He is going to college to obtain an IT degree. They married in 2007.
    She explained that for Army purposes only does she use her maiden name, and that since her first command is behind her, she and her husband can focus on starting a family.  Guetter/Stalvey left for Ft. Leonard Wood on Thursday, April 4, and planned to set up house on Friday, when their furniture was due to arrive.
    At this point, Capt. Guetter considers herself a lifer with the Army, saying, “I’ve been in just about 10 years. I think, what’s another ten years?”

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