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March 09, 2012

News

Nott becomes Fort McCoy’s 48th commander in Feb. 29 ceremony

By Geneve N. Mankel, Public Affairs Staff

Col. Steven W. Nott became Fort McCoy’s 48th garrison commander at a Feb. 29 change- of-command ceremony held at the Fort McCoy Rumpel Fitness Center.
PHOTO: Incoming Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott (left) accepts the flag from J. Randall Robinson, director of the Installation Management Command Central Region. Photo by Allan Harding
Incoming Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott (left) accepts the flag from J. Randall Robinson, director of the Installation Management Command Central Region. Outgoing Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser (right) observes. (Photo by Allan Harding)

The ceremony’s official party included J. Randall Robinson, director of the Installation Management Command Central Region; Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak, commander of the 88th Regional Support Command and Fort McCoy’s senior commander; Col. David E. Chesser, outgoing garrison commander; and Nott, incoming garrison commander.

“Today we salute an outstanding garrison commander for a job extremely well done and celebrate the arrival of an exceedingly well-qualified leader to assume command of Fort McCoy’s garrison,” said Robinson.

Chesser, the third-longest serving garrison commander of McCoy, began his nearly four-year tenure here in April 2008.
“As I depart Fort McCoy, I do so with confidence that I am leaving the installation in much better shape than I found it, and well-prepared for whatever the future brings,” Chesser said.

Lesniak and Robinson each spoke to Chesser’s achievements.

“He has done a truly outstanding job revitalizing Fort McCoy and positioning it for success for the second 100 years of service to our nation,” Lesniak said.

Chesser oversaw the expenditure of more than $200 million of infrastructure construction, including barracks, laundry and dining facilities, utility upgrades, Family housing and more, he said.

The Fort McCoy Color Guard and the audience listen as members of the official party prepare to make remarks during the Fort McCoy garrison change-of-command ceremony. Photo by Allan Harding
The Fort McCoy Color Guard and the audience listen as members of the official party prepare to make remarks during the Fort McCoy garrison change-of-command ceremony. The ceremony was held Feb. 29 at the Rumpel Fitness Center. Incoming Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott assumed command. Outgoing Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser ended nearly four years as Fort McCoy’s garrison commander. (Photo by Allan Harding)

The range upgrades made under Chesser’s command improved training capabilities for the just under half a million servicemembers who trained at McCoy during his tenure. The installation and range upgrades have contributed to McCoy being an Army Reserve center of excellence, Lesniak said.

Robinson said Chesser came to McCoy with a “vision and passion to further move this installation forward — forward into a more-modern and relevant instrument of military training.”

Chesser articulated a vision for Fort McCoy’s future and focused relentlessly on providing Soldiers resources needed to train them to succeed on any battlefield, Robinson said.

Chesser led the greatest level of modernization at the installation since 1942, Robinson said. The modernization efforts contributed to McCoy’s recognition in 2009 and 2011 through the Army Communities of Excellence competition, he said.

Chesser said his biggest accomplishment during his command of Fort McCoy was the comprehensive modernization of the installation.

“Construction of facilities, ranges and training areas has significantly improved both our capability and capacity and measurably improved the quality of life for all,” he said.

Chesser recognized that the accomplishments over the past four years were a collective effort.

“All credit for our success goes to the Soldiers, civilian employees, and contractors who made it happen and ultimately made this difficult assignment a little less challenging and my time here enjoyable and immensely rewarding,” he said.

PHOTO: Members of the official party salute the colors at the garrison change-of-command ceremony. Photo by Allan Harding
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak (left), 88th Regional Support Command commanding general and Fort McCoy’s senior commander, and outgoing Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser salute the colors, held by the Fort McCoy Color Guard (not pictured), at the garrison change-of-command ceremony. (Photo by Allan Harding)

Chesser told Nott he was sure Nott would find the job as Fort McCoy garrison commander challenging, but extremely rewarding.

“I am also certain that under your leadership this very capable work force will continue to excel,” he said.

Chesser and Nott are strong examples of why the U.S. Army is the best in the world, Lesniak said. Nott is the “right next professional to lead Fort McCoy forward.”

“His intelligence, vision, energy and leadership will serve us well in the coming years,” he said.

Nott is an exceedingly well-qualified leader, Robinson said.

“He has a tremendous reputation throughout the Army and is the right strategic leader that we need here to continue to take McCoy to the next level,” he said. “His unique combination of combat, command and strategic experience is ideally suited for Fort McCoy.”

Nott, a Wisconsin native, said it felt great to be back home.

“There is no other place my Family and I would rather be than Fort McCoy, Wisconsin,” he said.

The personal nature of the garrison mission is noteworthy, and the customers differ from those at other Army installations, Nott said. “The servicemembers who train here are coworkers, neighbors, friends and Family. There are very few people throughout the region who are not directly or indirectly impacted by Fort McCoy.”

PHOTO: The 451st Army Reserve Band plas at the garrison change-of-command ceremony. Photo by Allan Harding
The 451st Army Reserve Band of Fort Snelling, Minn., performs at the Fort McCoy garrison change-of-command ceremony. The band is aligned with the 88th Regional Support Command, which has its headquarters at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Allan Harding)

“We’ll strive to achieve the same success the installation has enjoyed throughout the 103 years of the installation’s history,” Nott said.

He noted the garrison staff as having accomplished an exceptional Armywide reputation for superior training support to the nation’s defenders.

“You have already impressed me with your vast knowledge and experience,” he said. “I will work hard to earn your trust and I will listen to the vast experience you all bring to this mission.”

“To the units who use the facilities, you are the reason we exist. My staff and I will listen and will endeavor to meet your needs.”

Chesser retired with 30 years of service and was presented with retirement awards and the Legion of Merit at the ceremony.
Distinguished guests at the ceremony included Chesser’s and Nott’s Family members; Maj. Gen. William Waff, commanding general 99th Regional Support Command; Maj. Gen. (retired) Paul Lima, civilian aide to the secretary of the Army; Gerald Meyer and Max Oleson, Army Reserve ambassadors for Wisconsin; congressional representatives, and other military dignitaries.

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