|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
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. 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,
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.
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.”
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
“We’ll strive to achieve the same success the installation has
enjoyed throughout the 103 years of the installation’s history,” Nott
He noted the garrison staff as having accomplished an exceptional
Armywide reputation for superior training support to the nation’s
“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