|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Excellence Through Diversity Award recipient at Fort McCoy was
recognized as an ardent champion for Soldier and family issues in the
Garrison Deputy Commander Lt.
Col. Annie Jackson (left) accepts the Excellence Through
Diversity award from Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser.
(Photo by Val Hyde)
Lt. Col. Annie Jackson, Fort McCoy garrison deputy commander,
accepted the award during the installation’s Hispanic Heritage
observance Oct. 1.
Col. David E. Chesser, garrison commander, presented the award.
Jackson said she was truly surprised, honored and humbled by the award.
She said the award meant a lot to her because of the challenges she
faced as she advanced in both her civilian and military career, and
growing up in the southern United States.
“This is a significant honor for me to think that you, the garrison work
force, think I deserve this award and recognize my efforts in promoting
the appreciation for diversity in the workplace. That means so much to
me,” Jackson said.
Chesser said when people in the Fort McCoy work force, especially women,
first heard the new garrison deputy commander was going to be a woman
there was a sigh of relief that someone would be there to represent
“That was a good thing, the work force recognized that she was going to
bring a unique perspective to the Command Group and command team, and
she did,” he said. “I think she has sent the right message to the work
force that we are about diversity. We recognize there is a difference
“We are trying to establish an Equal Opportunity community here, and I
think we have,” he said. “We have been recognized by IMCOM (Installation
Management Command), First Army and USARC (U.S. Army Reserve Command)
for doing just that, in large part by what Colonel Jackson is doing.”
Blaine Markuson, the acting director of the Army Reserve Equal
Employment Opportunity office at Fort McCoy, said the purpose of the
award is to recognize an individual who has contributed to the
advancement of women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities in
the federal government. The recipient also serves as a mentor in both
government and local communities.
According to the nomination narrative, Jackson has been a strong
supporter of the Equal Opportunity and Equal Employment Opportunity
programs for military and civilian personnel in the Fort McCoy community
in both words and deeds during her year of service at the installation.
During her tenure at Fort McCoy, Jackson met her many responsibilities
with regard to training and base operations, yet found time, on a daily
basis, to be actively engaged in quality-of-life issues and devote time
at key support functions such as the Child Development Center, Post
Exchange and Commissary — to name a few — to help support those
“She has served well as the garrison commander’s ‘trusted agent’ for the
deployment of the Army Family and Community Covenants here at Fort
Markuson read. “She is active in a number of community outreach
activities on and off post, including the (Fort McCoy) Speaker’s Bureau
and area school boards.”
Jackson has an “open door” approach and frequently meets with Soldiers,
civilians, and retirees to counsel them and assist in the resolution of
Jackson also has participated in numerous interview panels and, in this
capacity, brings a unique perspective in helping Fort McCoy managers
select the best qualified candidate for a position.
In summary, Jackson has fulfilled all of the requirements of this
prestigious award and is most deserving, Markuson said. Fort McCoy is
indeed fortunate to have such a high caliber officer as Jackson, and her
work here has been in keeping with the criteria of this award, he added.
“I am confident she will continue to be an exemplary ambassador and
champion of promoting diversity and upward mobility within the (federal)
workplace,” Markuson concluded.